Excel Pivot Table Formatting (The Ultimate Guide)

PivotTable helps you summarize your data quickly and easily. With the help of Excel pivot table formatting, you can display the analyzed data perfectly.

Excel Pivot Table Formatting

Excel Pivot Table Formatting


In this article, you will learn about Excel pivot table formatting. There are different ways of doing that.

6 Easy Ways to Apply or Change Excel Pivot Table Formatting

Selecting a PivotTable cell displays two additional tabs; PivotTable Analyze and Design, along with other Excel tabs. Using those tabs, you can apply or modify Excel pivot table formatting to make your data more presentable.

Follow the below sections to learn about different aspects of pivot table formatting.

1. Number Formatting in Pivot Tables

The pivot table uses General number formatting. You can change the number format for all the pivot data.

  • To change the data format, right-click any value and choose Number Format from the shortcut menu.

Number Format

  • Then use the Format Cells dialog box to change the number format of your pivot data.

Read More: How to Show Zero Values in Excel Pivot Table: 2 Pro Tips

2. Pivot Table Designs

There are several built-in styles that you can apply to your pivot table.

  • Select any cell in your pivot table and then choose Design > PivotTable Styles to select a style.

Excel pivot table formatting with custom design

2.1 More Pivot Table Designs

  • If these styles don’t fulfill your purpose, you can choose more styles by clicking on the following button.

More Designs-Excel Pivot Table Formatting

  • You will find lots of built-in styles for you to use in your pivot tables.

2.2 Tuning Pivot Table Styles

You can fine-tune your styles using controls in the Design > PivotTable Style Options group.

2.3 Layout Controls in Excel Pivot Tables

You can also use the controls from the Design > Layout group to control various elements in your pivot table. You can use any of the following controls:

  • Subtotals: Using this control, you can add/ hide subtotals and choose where to display them (above or below the data).
  • Grand Totals: Using this control, you can choose which types, if any, to display.
  • Report Layout: There are three report layouts. You can choose any of three different layout styles (compact, outline, or tabular) using this control. You can also choose to hide/active repeating labels.
  • Blank Row: You can add a blank row between items to improve readability.

3. Field Controls of Pivot Tables

The PivotTable Analyze > Show group contains more options that affect the appearance of your pivot table. For example, you use the Show +/- Button to toggle the display of +/- sign in expandable items.

More Controls-Excel Pivot Table Formatting

Read More: How to create a pivot table report in Excel

4. PivotTable Options Dialog Box

Still, more pivot table options are available from the PivotTable Options dialog box. To display this dialog box, choose PivotTable Analyze > Options (in the PivotTable section) > Options. Or you can right-click any cell in the pivot table and choose PivotTable Options from the shortcut menu.

Experimenting with styling features is the best way to become familiar with all these layout and formatting options.

5. Copying a Pivot Table Format

If you want to copy the format of your pivot table in other worksheets or in your existing worksheet. You can do the following.


  • select a range in your existing worksheet or new worksheet where you want to paste your data. You can paste the data directly into the available paste option or you can use the paste special feature.

  • In the Paste Special feature, click on the paste option that you want to use and click OK.

Read More: How to Create Pivot Tables for Meaningful Data Analysis!

6. Locking Pivot Table Format

  • First, select the entire pivot table and click on the right button of your mouse to press the Format Cells
  • In the protection option of the Format Cells Uncheck the Locked option and press OK.

Locking Cells to secure pivot table formatting

  • Then on the Review Tab on top, click on the Protect Sheet
  • Put a tick mark on the Select unlocked cells and set a password.

  • After this, whenever you want to edit the pivot table, a dialogue box will appear like in the picture below.

Warning not to alter pivot table formatting

  • If you want to unlock the protected cells, click on the Review on top and then click on the Unprotect Sheet.
  • It will ask for a password (if you set one). Type the password. You will see the sheet is unlocked now.


This article demonstrates options to apply or change Excel pivot table formatting. Different aspects of pivot table formatting and their applicability are discussed. We hope this article sheds enough light on pivot table formatting to fulfill your requirements. Comment if you need further explanation or anything to add.

Do check out our awesome website, Exceldemy, to find interesting articles on Excel.

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