PivotTable growing pains


Q: I have created several dozen PivotTable reports in Excel to meet our reporting needs. However, as new rows of data are added to the source data, I must constantly redefine the source data range for all PivotTables, which is very time-consuming. Is there a way to make my PivotTables automatically recognize new data rows and columns as they are added?


A: Excel 2010 and 2007 provide a new feature that enables you to convert your source data to a Table. Thereafter, the data range referred to by your PivotTables automatically expands as additional columns or rows are added to your source data.


To use the Table feature, make sure that there are no blank rows or columns in the source data, and select a single cell within your source data. Next, from the Insert tab, select Table, and click OK. Create your PivotTable from the source data (or if you have already created your PivotTable, redefine your PivotTable source data ranges), and thereafter, your PivotTables automatically refer to the correct source data range, even if the source data shrinks or grows. In addition to creating a table that grows dynamically as new data are added, the Table tool also adds a table name, banded row formatting, dropdown filter buttons, table styles and row totaling. Examples of data before and after table formatting are shown below.


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