Excel Pivot Table Terminology

You have to understand the terminology associated with pivot tables. It is the first step to the master Excel pivot table. See the following Figure.

Pivot Table Terminology

A pivot table

Column labels

Each item in the field occupies a column. In our above figure, Customer represents a column field and Customer contains two items (Existing and New). There may have nested column fields.

Read More: How to Insert a Calculated Item into an Excel Pivot Table!

Grand totals

A row or column that displays totals for all cells in a row or column in a pivot table. Grand totals can be calculated for rows, columns, or both (or neither). The pivot table shown in the above figure shows the grand totals for both rows and columns.


A group is a collection of items treated as a single item. The pivot table shown in our figure does not have any defined groups.


Item is a field that appears as a row or column header in a pivot table. In our above figure, Existing and New are items for the Customer field. The Branch field has three items: Central, North County, and Westside. AcctType has four items: CD, Checking, IRA, and Savings.


Refresh recalculates the pivot table after you have made some changes to the source data.

Row labels

Each item in the field occupies a row. Nested row fields are also possible. In the above figure, Branch and AcctType both represent row fields.

Source data

Source data is the data that is used to create a pivot table. Source data can in a worksheet or an external database.


The pivot table shown in the figure displays subtotals for each branch, below the data. You can also display subtotals above the data or hide subtotals.

Table Filter

Using a table filter, you can choose one item, multiple items, or all items in a page field at one time. In the figure, OpenedBy represents a table filter that displays All items. Click on it, and you can choose different options to choose from.

Read More: How to Create an Average Calculated Field in Excel Pivot Table

Values area

Values areas are the cells in a pivot table that contain the summary data. Excel offers many ways to summarize the data (sum, average, count, and so on).

Right-click on any value in the pivot table and then use the following figure to change the option.

Some Pivot Table examples

Right-click on any value in the pivot table and choose commands Summarize Values By ⇒ Count

Download Sample File


Happy Excelling 🙂



Hello! Welcome to my Excel blog! It took me some time to be a fan of Excel. But now I am a die-hard fan of MS Excel. I learn new ways of doing things with Excel and share them here. Not only how-to guide on Excel, but you will get also topics on Finance, Statistics, Data Analysis, and BI. Stay tuned! You can checkout my courses at Udemy: https://www.udemy.com/user/exceldemy/

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