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Pivot Table Field List

Pivot Table Field List

When you create a pivot table, and select a cell in it, by default, a pivot table field list should appear, at the right of the Excel window. You can use the field list to select fields for the pivot table layout, and to move fields to a specific area in the layout.

pivot table field list

Video: Adjust the Pivot Table Field List

To see the steps for adjusting the pivot table field list, please watch this short video tutorial. The written instructions are below the video.

Change the Pivot Table Field List Layout

By default, the field list shows a list of the fields at the top, and the four pivot table areas in a square at the bottom. You can change that layout, by using a command on the field list.

To change the layout:

  • In the field list, click the arrow for Tools, near the top right
  • The default layout is at the top of the list -- Fields Section and Areas Section Stacked
  • Select one of the other layouts, such as Fields Section and Areas Section Side-by-Side

pivot table field list layout

Which layout to select:

  • The Fields Section and Areas Section Stacked layout is best if the pivot table has long field names, or a short list of fields
  • The Fields Section and Areas Section Side-by-Side layout is better when field names are short, or there is a long list of fields.
  • I don't use the other layouts -- Fields Section Only, Areas Section Only (2 by 2), Area Section Only (1 by 4)

Adjust the Field List Width

To adjust the width of the field list:

  • Point to the border between the field list and the worksheet
  • When the pointer changes to a two-headed arrow, drag left or right, to make the field list wider or narrower

pivot table field list width

Move the Field List

The field list can be locked in place at the right or left of the worksheet, or floating over the worksheet.

To move the field list:

  • Point to the Title area of the field list
  • When the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, drag the field list to a new position

pivot table field list move

To lock the floating field list into its previous position:

  • Point to the Title area of the field list
  • When the pointer changes to an arrow, double-click, to lock the field list at the side of the worksheet.
  • It will go to the side where it was last locked.

pivot table field list move

Sort the Field List

The fields in the field list can be sorted alphabetically, or in the same order that the fields are arranged in the source data.

To sort the fields in Excel 2013:

  • Click the Tools arrow, at the top right of the Field List
  • In the Sort options, click Sort A to Z or click Sort in Data Source Order

pivot table field list sort 2013

To sort the fields in Excel 2010:

  • Right-click a cell in the Pivot Table, and click PivotTable Options
  • Click the Display tab
  • In the Field List section, click Sort A to Z or click Sort in Data Source Order

pivot table field list sort 2010

Xtreme Pivot Table Course

To raise your pivot table skills to the expert level, I recommend the Xtreme Pivot Table course, from John Michaloudis, at My Excel Online.

This course has more than 200 videos -- beginner, intermediate and advanced level -- along with practice workbooks, finance business cases, and 12 months of personal support. Each short lesson is clear, and easy to follow. Work through the lessons at your own pace, and track your progress. The course is an excellent value, at a surprisingly low price.

See the course details, and watch sample videos here: Xtreme Pivot Table Course. When you buy the course, use the coupon code CONTEXTURES for a 10% discount.

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Last updated: September 22, 2014