How to Use Chart Commands to Create Excel Pivot Charts

By Stephen L. Nelson, E. C. Nelson

You can use Excel’s standard charting commands to create charts of pivot table data. You might choose to use the Charts toolbar on the Insert tab when you’ve already created a pivot table and now want to use that data in a chart.

To create a regular old chart using pivot table data, follow these steps:

  1. Create a pivot table.

  2. Select the worksheet range in the pivot table that you want to chart.

  3. Tell Excel to create a pivot chart by choosing the appropriate charting command from the Insert tab.

    The Chart Wizard creates a pivot chart that matches your pivot table. Take a look at this column chart created from the Excel worksheet that summarizes sales from your imaginary coffee business. A pivot table was created for the data and then told Excel to put the pivot table’s data into a column chart.

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For normal charting, by the way, you set up a worksheet with the data that you want to plot in a chart. Then you select the data and tell Excel to plot the data in a chart by choosing one of the Insert tab’s chart commands.

Excel offers you many ways that you can customize your pivot chart.