How to Modify and Pivot Fields in an Excel 2010 Pivot Table

By Greg Harvey

Pivot tables are much more dynamic than standard Excel 2010 tables because they are so easy to manipulate and modify. Excel makes it just as easy to change which fields from the original data source are displayed in the table as it does originally adding them when a table is first created. In addition, you can instantly restructure the pivot table by dragging its existing fields to new positions on the table.

Modifying the pivot table fields

To modify the fields used in your pivot table, follow these steps:

  1. Click any cell in the pivot table.

    Excel adds the PivotTable Tools contextual tab with the Options and Design tabs to the Ribbon.

  2. Click the PivotTable Tools Options tab.

  3. Click the Field List button in Show/Hide group if it isn’t already selected.

    Excel displays the PivotTable Field List task pane, showing the fields that are currently used in the pivot table as well as to which areas they’re currently assigned.

  4. Make any of the following modifications to the table’s fields:

    • To remove a field from the table, drag its field name out of any of its drop zones (Report Filter, Column Labels, Row Labels, and Values) and, when the mouse pointer changes to an x, release the mouse button; or click its check box in the Choose Fields to Add to Report list to remove its check mark.

    • To move an existing field to a new place in the table, drag its field name from its current drop zone to a new zone at the bottom of the task pane.

    • To add a field to the table, drag its field name from the Choose Fields to Add to Report list and drop the field in the desired drop zone— note that if you want to add a field to the pivot table as an additional Row Labels field, you can also do this by simply selecting the field’s check box in the Choose Fields to Add to Report list.

Pivoting the table’s fields

As the name pivot implies, the fun of pivot tables is being able to restructure the table simply by rotating the Column and Row fields. In the PivotTable Field List pane, simply drag a label from the Row Labels drop zone to the Column Labels drop zone and vice versa so that the two field names are swapped. Voilà — Excel rearranges the data in the pivot table at your request.