Tips for working with the PivotTable Field List. Move it, change its layout, sort the fields, to save time and work efficiently. Also see: List all Pivot Fields with Details
Author: Debra Dalgleish
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 Microsoft Excel window. You can use the field list to select fields for the pivot table layout, and to move pivot table fields to a specific area in the layout.
To see the PivotTable Field List:
If the PivotTable Field List task pane does not appear automatically, follow these steps to enable it:
Note: If the full Show group is not visible, click Show, Field List (from the drop down list of commands)
The main purpose of the PivotTable Field List is to add or remove pivot fields from the pivot table layout on the worksheet. There are three main sections sections in the PivotTable Field List:
In the field list shown below, the Region field has a check mark, and the Region field appears in the Rows area.
There are no fields in the Filters area, Columns area, or Values area yet.
Note: Your field list will have different fields checked, or no fields.
Near the top of the PivotTable Field List pane is a list of the column headings from your Excel table; they appear in the same order as in the Excel table. In the pivot table, these are called fields.
If you used a Recommended PivotTable layout, you will see a check mark beside the fields that are in the pivot table.
In Excel 2016, there is a Search box above the list of fields. This can help you quickly find a field name in a long list. Click in that box and start typing. The field list will be filtered automatically, to only show the field names that contain the string of letters that you typed.
At the bottom of the PivotTable Field List pane are the four areas of the pivot table: Report Filter, Column Labels, Row Labels, and Values.
You can drag the fields into these areas, and they’ll appear in the matching area of the pivot table layout on the worksheet
If you used a Recommended PivotTable layout, you will see the fields from that layout in those areas.
For steps on how to add, move and remove pivot fields, using the PivotTable Field List, go to the How to Set Up an Excel Pivot Table page.
For example, drag fields from one area in the Layout section to a different area. In the screen shot below, one of the Value Fields, Sum of Year, is being moved to the Rows area.
To see the steps for adjusting the pivot table field list, please watch this short video tutorial. The written instructions are below the video. Download the sample file from this video, to follow along.
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:
Which layout to select:
To adjust the width of the field list:
The field list can be locked in place at the right or left of the worksheet, or it can float over the worksheet.
To move the field list:
To lock the floating field list into its previous position:
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 change the sort order for fields listed in the PivotTable Field list, follow these steps:
If your pivot table is based on a large data source, it might respond very slowly when you add fields or move fields to a different area of the pivot table.
To improve the pivot table performance, if you plan to add or move more than one field, you can use the Defer Layout Update option.
When this feature is enabled, the fields are all added or moved, and then the pivot table is recalculated once. If this box is not checked, the pivot table is recalculated after each field is added or moved.
To defer the layout updates:
While the Defer Layout Update setting is turned on, make your pivot table changes:
Note: Some features, such as filtering and grouping, are not available when Defer Layout Update is activated.
Get the sample file that was used in the Pivot Table Field List video. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.
Last updated: April 19, 2022 8:52 PM