November 12, 2013

Excel Tricks – Using a Pivot Table for Easy Calculations

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The pivot table is one of the most useful tools in Excel, yet many people don’t know how to take advantage of it. If you’ve created a table of values – say, tracking monthly office expenses – you might want to figure out the total amount spent on each category, or supply type. Creating a new SUM formula for each expense is time consuming, and can lead to costly mistakes or oversights. Thankfully, Excel can do such calculations (and more!) for you automatically, using the pivot table. Check out the video below:

 

 

To recap:
1. Have the table you’d like to calculate ready
2. Go to the “Insert” tab and select “Pivot table”
3. Select the data you want under table or range
4. Then tell Excel to place the data in a new worksheet (just to be safe)
5. Click OK
6. The pivot table will appear in a new worksheet
7. On the far right, you’ll see the “field list”
8. Select the variables you’d like Excel to calculate from this list
9. Excel will fill in and organize the results for you

This trick can be used in a ton of different scenarios, and should save you some time if you frequently work with Excel.

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