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Advanced Pivot Table Enhancements in Excel

Advanced Pivot Table Enhancements in Excel

Allison Gonzalez, a Microsoft Certified Trainer at Pragmatic Works, recently shared advanced techniques to improve the aesthetics and functionality of pivot tables in Excel. Following the basic introduction in the previous episode, Allison now delves deeper into customizing pivot tables to make them more engaging and visually appealing. 


Here are the key points from her tutorial:

1. Exploring Design and Analyze Tabs

  • Accessing Tabs: Clicking into a pivot table reveals the 'PivotTable Analyze' and 'Design' tabs.
  • Design Options: The Design tab offers a range of styles (light, medium, dark) to effortlessly enhance the pivot table’s look.

2. Customizing Pivot Table Design

  • Spacing Sections: Add blank rows for spacing and clarity.
  • Subtotals and Grand Totals: Options to show, hide, or reposition these elements.
  • Pivot Style Options: Adjust banded rows and columns for a professional look.

3. Conditional Formatting

  • Data Bars: Highlight the grand total row using data bars for a visual representation of values.
  • Advanced Options: Use the ‘More Rules’ feature for detailed customization, like adjusting the fill or border of the bars.

4. Formatting Data Values

  • Currency Format: Apply currency formatting with dollar signs and commas for clarity.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: Utilize shortcuts like ‘Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow’ and ‘Ctrl+1’ for quick formatting.

5. Refining Pivot Table Settings

  • Pivot Table Analyze Tab: Review options like ‘AutoFit Column Width on Update’ and ‘Preserve Cell Formatting on Update’.
  • Improving Readability: Remove field headers, plus/minus buttons, and the field list for a cleaner look.

6. Adding Headers and Borders

  • Bold Headers: Enhance header visibility by bolding and resizing them.
  • Outer Borders: Apply thick outer borders for a polished layout.

7. Incorporating Timelines and Slicers

  • Timeline Tool: Insert timelines for easy navigation through data over different time periods.
  • Customizing Timeline Style: Match the timeline style with the pivot table’s design.

8. Final Layout Adjustments

  • Extra Spacing: Insert columns for additional space.
  • Grid Line Removal: Use the 'Page Layout' tab to remove gridlines for a non-spreadsheet appearance.


Allison wraps up the video by encouraging viewers to experiment with these techniques to transform their pivot tables from standard layouts to dynamic and visually appealing presentations. She invites comments and tips from viewers, encouraging engagement and further learning.

The Pragmatic Works channel offers extensive training not only in Excel but across the entire Power Platform, including Power BI, Teams, and Power Apps. To learn more and stay updated, viewers can like and subscribe to the Pragmatic Works YouTube channel and access extensive Excel training on the Pragmatic Works’ on-demand learning platform.

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