Automate your charts with Pivot tables in Microsoft® Excel 2010
Never used Pivot tables before? Wondering what they are and how they can help you? Pivot tables are essentially an advanced version of the simple tables that you can create with Microsoft Excel 2010. They’re best utilized when you have to work on tables, add some formulas, or make different kinds of charts with the same data.
When you have a large amount of data, let’s say the sales figures of a product range over a period of one year and you have to create a different graph for each product; Pivot Tables make your job easy. Without Pivot Tables, you would have to change data ranges and create custom graphs manually. You can also filter, sort, or modify the tables and charts easily. Automation – you have to love it, because it makes our job easier and leaves us with more time.
Let us see how you can create a pivot table and a chart.
1. First, you need to open the worksheet that has the data saved in it. You need to ensure that there is no empty row or column, because that can affect the pivot charts. You should also make sure that all the rows and columns have headings.
2. Go to the insert tab on the ribbon and select the ‘Pivot Table’ option.
3. Once you select the option, a dialogue box opens where you have to select the range for which you need a pivot table.
4. After selecting the range, you need to give the location for your pivot table. You can have the pivot table on a different sheet, or the same one, or create a new sheet and paste it there. We all love options, don’t we?
5. Click “OK” after you choose the location for the table.
6. Excel would then create a blank grid with ‘Field List’ task pane on the right side of your sheet.
7. You can drag and drop the columns and rows and create multiple charts with the same data in seconds.
Sounds like music to your ears? Best part is that once you select a chart type for the table, the charts are modified when you change the data selection in the ‘Field List’ task pane. Features like these make Excel 2010 a powerful application.