Data Table Not Working in Excel (7 Issues & Solutions)

Undoubtedly, a data table is a useful tool for updating, sharing, and analyzing data effectively. But sometimes we face issues that hamper working with the table. In this article, I’ll point out 7 significant issues for what a data table is not working in Excel and also demonstrate their solutions.

Data Table Not Working in Excel: 7 Issues & Solutions

As this article covers the issues with the data table, I hope you know how to create a data table in Excel. Whatever, let’s dive into the scenarios of the Excel data table not working & their solutions.

1. An Issue with AutoCorrect Settings

A data table will look like this. Every table in Excel has an incredible feature to expand automatically.

Data Table in Excel

Occasionally, the data table may not expand automatically if we input new data like the following picture where 1-Sep is written in cell B13, but the table has not been expanded.

When Table is Not Expanding

Do you ever understand the problem?

Actually, AutoCorrect Options govern this expansion in Excel.

We have to check the options from AutoCorrect Options.

Let’s do this by following the steps below.

⏩ Click on File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options.

AutoCorrect Options for Data Table

After that, you’ll see the following command bar.

⏩ Go to the AutoFormat As You Type tab.

⏩ Check the box before Include new rows and columns in table in the Apply as you work section.

⏩ Check the box before Fill formulas in tables to create calculated columns in the Automatically as you work section.

⏩ Press OK.

Now, you’ll see the following table automatically expand if any new column or row is added.

AutoCorrect Output

Here, I write 1-Sep in cell B13 and the table has been automatically expanded with the formula.

2. Problem with Table Functionality

A data table in Excel has some functionality like sort and filter arrows, structured references, etc.

Data Table Functionality

But in some cases, you may face problems with the table functionality. In such a situation, you can overlook the Excel feature by following the steps below.

⏩ Select the whole data table.

⏩ Move the cursor on the Table Design tab.

⏩ Click on Convert to Range.

Convert to Range in a Data Table

⏩ Then you’ll see the dialog box and click Yes.

Convert to Range in a Data Table

Finally, the data table will be as follows. The format of the following data table will not change anymore.

Problem with Table Functionality

3. Data Table Not Working When Cells Have Heterogeneous Characters 

As you know a data table has numerous cells, it is necessary for all cells to be in a homogenous character.

For example, if any cell is locked or unlocked, the data table may not work properly.

You may adjust the thing in the following way.

⏩ Right-click on the mouse or press CTRL+1.

⏩ After opening the Format Cells dialog box, move the cursor on Protection and check the Locked option.

When Cells Have Heterogeneous Characters

4. Data Table Not Working When the Sheet Has Protection

If you are provided a data table with a protected sheet, you cannot do anything unless unprotect the sheet!

Protected sheet

Follow the way to unprotect the sheet.

⏩ Move the cursor on the Review tab.

⏩ Click on Unprotect Sheet.

Unprotect sheet

5. When Data Table Returns Same Value (Problems with Sensitivity Analysis)

Now, I am discussing common issues regarding sensitivity analysis in data tables, especially about What-if Analysis.

Look at the following picture where all the attributes become similar as the value of operating profit is $1500 though the row and column input is correct.

When Data Table Returns Same Value

What is the reason? Can you explain?

There may be many reasons.

⏩ You must check the Calculations Options from the Formulas tab. Here, the option is Manual, that’s why it returns the same result for all. So if you want to get the correct output you should click on Automatic.

When Data Table Returns Same Value

⏩ When you put the value $1500 in the top-left part, make sure that it is linked with cell C10 (by clicking =C10).

Then the output will look like this.

When Data Table Returns Same Value

6. Issues with Row and Column Inputs

You must be careful about row and column inputs while doing a What-If Analysis as all the output is shown based on the inputs of the row and column.

For example, if we put Price/AC as row input and Cost/AC as column input like in the following picture.

Issues with Row and Column Inputs 1

The output with the wrong row and column inputs will look like this.

Issues with Row and Column Inputs 2

So, be careful when you are entering the row and column inputs. AC sold will be row input and Cost/AC will be column input.

Issues with Row and Column Inputs 3

7. Data Table Not Working for Residing on Different Worksheets

Sometimes, a data table may be located on a different worksheet. However, in the case of sensitivity analysis, it is necessary to link the data on the same worksheet. Otherwise, you’ll not get the expected output.

Data Table is on a Different Worksheet

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This is how you can fix some common issues regarding Excel data table not working. I firmly believe this article will enrich your Excel learning journey. However, if you have any queries or suggestions, please let me know in the following comments section.

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Md. Abdul Kader
Md. Abdul Kader

MD. ABDUL KADER is an engineer with a talent for Excel and a passion for VBA programming. To him, programming is like a time-saving wizard, making data manipulation, file handling, and internet interactions a breeze. His skill set extends to SWM, GIS, RS, and SPSS. He holds a B.Sc in Urban & Regional Planning from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology and has shifted to become a content developer. In this role, he crafts technical content centred around... Read Full Bio

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