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PivotTable I: Get started with PivotTable reports in Excel 2007

Click Play to see how to build a PivotTable report.

Now you are ready to build the PivotTable report. The fields you select for the report depend on what you want to know.

Let's start with finding out how much each salesperson has sold. To get the answer, you need data about the salespeople. So select the check box in the PivotTable Field List next to the Salesperson field. You also need data about how much they have sold, so select the check box next to the Order Amount field. Notice that you don't have to use all the fields on the field list to build a report.

When you select a field, Excel places it in a default area of the layout for you. You can move the field to another area if you want to. For example, if you want a field to be in the column area instead of the row area. You'll see how in the practice.

The data in the Salesperson field (the salespeople's names), which does not contain numbers, is automatically displayed as rows on the left side of the report. The data in the Order Amount field, which does contain numbers, correctly shows up in an area to the right.

The heading over the salesperson data says "Row Labels" above the field. The heading over the order amounts says "Sum of Order Amount"; the "Sum of" part of the heading is because Excel uses the Sum function to add up fields with numbers.

Note that it doesn't matter whether you select the check box next to the Salesperson field before or after the Order Amount field. Excel will automatically put them in the right place every time. Fields without numbers will land on the left, fields with numbers will land on the right, regardless of the order in which you select them.

That's it. With just two mouse clicks you know how much each salesperson sold. By the way, you could stop with just one question answered. You can use a PivotTable report as a fast way to get the answer to just one or two questions. The report doesn't have to be complex to be useful.

Click Play to see how to build a PivotTable report.

Tip     Don't worry about building a report incorrectly. Excel makes it easy to try things out, to see how data looks in different areas of the report. If a report isn't how you want it at first, it doesn't take long at all to lay out data another way, to move pieces around to your satisfaction, or even to start over again if you want.

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