Contextures News

Quick Excel Report Change

September 6, 2016

A quick report layout change, and more, in this week's Excel news. Visit my Excel website for many more tips, tutorials and videos -- let me know if you're looking for something and can't find it there..

Quick Excel Report Change

If you have 2 or more fields in the Values area of the pivot table, Excel automatically creates a new field in the layout, called "Values". You can see that field on the worksheet, and in the PivotTable Field List. Read more about that Values field on my website.

By default, Excel puts that "Values" field in the Columns area, above the other column fields. In the screen shot below, there is a Region field, and the pivot table shows the Quantity for each region, and then the Sales total for each region.

To quickly see a different view of the data:

  • In the PivotTable Field List, drag the Values field below the Region field. Now the pivot table shows East Qty and Sales, then West Qty and Sales.
  • Or, drag the Values field to the Row area. Try it above or below the other Row fields.

And if you don't like the revised pivot table, just Undo, or drag the Values field back where it started.

If you're working with pivot tables, I've got a free tool that you can use --Pivot Power Free (PP Free). Use it to quickly change Sum to Count, format numbers, and a few other handy things.

pivot table values field

Why Didn't Excel Save?

Have you ever had an Excel crash, then discovered that your work wasn't saved, even though you clicked the Save button a few minutes ago?

That has happened to me a few times, and it's usually because I do this -- see if you can spot the problem:

  • Work in Excel for a while
  • Switch to Firefox, to Google something that I'm having trouble with
  • After a few minutes of Googling, I remember that the Excel file hasn't been saved for a while
  • Click the Save button on the Excel workbook that's open on the other monitor
  • Go back to Googling

Did you figure out the problem? Unlike some programs, you have to click on Excel once to "wake it up". Then, you have to click on the Save button, to actually save the file.

So, don't make the same mistake -- be sure that Excel is active when you click the Save button, or you might be sorry later!

Excel Articles

Here are a couple of Excel articles I read recently, that you might find useful.

Don't Blame Excel - In response to several articles that warn us to stop using spreadsheets for serious work, Professor Felienne Hermans said that people should stop blaming spreadsheets for their problems. (Level - All)

Awesome Charts - A couple of months ago, Chandoo posted a data visualization challenge for financial data. The results are in now, so take a look at the amazing entries, to get inspiration for your own charts and dashboards. But remember to save your Excel file before you head over there! (Level - Basic/Intermediate)

Also, see all my Excel products on my Contextures website.

What's That Bug?

I'm used to dealing with bugs in Excel, but don't usually pay to much attention to the bugs in the garden. This strange insect caught my eye though, and it waited patiently while I snapped a couple of photos.

It looks a little scary in the original photo, and was much prettier after I touched it up in the Prisma app on my iPad. If you know what type of insect it is, please let me know! Maybe it's one to avoid, instead of getting close enough to take pictures.

weekly photo

That's it for this week! If there are topics that you'd like to see covered in future emails, please let me know.

ddalgleish @

P.S. You can choose to get the full Contextures news package (news and occasional special announcements), or the basic news package (news only). Click either link to change your news option.

Note: I am an affiliate for some of the products mentioned in this email, and earn a commission on the sales.




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Last updated: May 24, 2021 8:36 PM