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Chapter 20. Analyzing Data: PivotTables! > Common Problems and Solutions

Common Problems and Solutions

Although Excel 97 makes PivotTables easier to use than they were in previous versions, you still may encounter a few problems when using this feature. Here are a few possibilities:

Q1:I can't select just a row or column label.
A1: PivotTables support something called structured selection. This means that when you click a row or column label, you select the entire row or column in the PivotTable. When you click a row or column heading field, you select all the data for that field. Generally, structured selection makes selecting areas that you want to work with in PivotTables faster and easier.

Sometimes, though, you want to select just a label so that you can change it by typing a new label. To do this, first click the label, which selects the entire row or column. Then click the Select Label button on the PivotTable toolbar. The label alone is then selected, and you can type a new label.


To toggle structured selection on and off, right-click anywhere in the PivotTable and choose Select from the shortcut menu, then choose Enable Selection from the submenu.

Q2:I need to summarize calculated fields.
A2: In PivotTables that have many calculated fields, you may need to summarize them as part of documenting the PivotTable. Right-click in the PivotTable, choose Formulas from the shortcut menu, and then choose List Formulas from the submenu. A new tab is inserted in the worksheet that summarizes all of the calculated fields in the PivotTable.



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