Charting V – PivotCharts

Whenever we talk to users about PivotCharts, the first request we hear is that they behave more like regular charts.  In previous versions, PivotCharts had very limited layout and formatting options. In addition, if you refreshed the PivotTable that the PivotChart was based upon, the PivotChart would lose whatever formatting it had. We heard from many users that they would often just create regular charts instead of PivotCharts, since could be problematic  As PivotTables and charts changed in Excel 2007, we made sure PivotCharts changed along with them – with a key goal being that they became more consistent.


PivotCharts in Excel 2007 can have all the same formatting as regular charts, including all the layouts and styles talked about in previous posts.  You can move and resize chart elements, or change formatting of individual data points.  One of the few restrictions that we did not have time to address in this version is the one on chart types – you still can’t create scatter, bubble, or stock PivotCharts.

If you refresh the data for your PivotChart, the chart updates and the formatting does not change.  Any new series or data points will be formatted to match the style or series as appropriate.  As a result, you can easily make PivotCharts for presentation or publication.

Furthermore, PivotChart will remember formatting across pivots.  If you set the colour of the series or a particular data point to red, then change the pivot so your data is no longer showing, the red band is gone as well. If you bring the data back into view, the red colour returns.

PivotTable Field List

PivotCharts use the same field list as PivotTables.  Just as with PivotTables, you can click the checkboxes for the fields you are interested in, and they will be reasonably laid out as a PivotChart.  You can also drag the fields around from region to region to pivot the PivotChart.  The field list also provides access to field settings such as how to summarize the data.

PivotChart Filter Pane

The PivotChart filter pane is a new task pane that enables you to filter PivotCharts.  In previous versions, filters were accessed from buttons in the PivotChart, but removed these so they didn’t affect the layout of the PivotChart.  The filter pane has the same filter capabilities as for PivotTables.  See filtering in PivotTables for details.  Below is a shot of the PivotChart field list and Filter task pane.

(Click to enlarge)