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Pivot Table Field List Tips
Tips for working with the PivotTable Field List. Move it, change its layout, sort the fields, to save time and work efficiently. Also see: List all Pivot Fields with Details
Author: Debra Dalgleish
Pivot Table Field List
When you create a pivot table, and select a cell in it, by default, a pivot table field list should appear, at the right of the Microsoft Excel window. You can use the field list to select fields for the pivot table layout, and to move pivot table fields to a specific area in the layout.
Show PivotTable Field List
To see the PivotTable Field List:
If the PivotTable Field List task pane does not appear automatically, follow these steps to enable it:
Note: If the full Show group is not visible, click Show, Field List (from the drop down list of commands)
Close PivotTable Field List
Sometimes, you might want to hide the PivotTable Field List, to discourage people from making changes to the pivot table layout.
Or, on some worksheet, you might need every inch of space visible, and the PivotTable Field List takes up too much space.
Add or Remove Pivot Fields
The main purpose of the PivotTable Field List is to add or remove pivot fields from the pivot table layout on the spreadsheet. There are three main sections sections in the PivotTable Field List:
In the field list shown below, the Region field has a check mark, and the Region field appears in the Rows area.
There are no fields in the Filters area, Columns area, or Values area yet.
Note: Your field list will have different fields checked, or no fields.
Near the top of the PivotTable Field List pane is a list of the column headings from your Excel table; they appear in the same order as in the Excel table. In the pivot table, these are called fields.
If you used a Recommended PivotTable layout, you will see a check mark beside the fields that are in the pivot table.
In Excel 2016 and later versions, there is a Search box above the list of fields. This can help you quickly find a field name in a long list. Click in that box and start typing. The field list will be filtered automatically, to only show the field names that contain the string of letters that you typed.
At the bottom of the PivotTable Field List pane are the four areas of the pivot table: Report Filter, Column Labels, Row Labels, and Values.
You can drag the fields into these areas, and they’ll appear in the matching area of the pivot table layout on the worksheet
If you used a Recommended PivotTable layout, you will see the fields from that layout in those areas.
Add, Move and Remove Pivot Fields
For steps on how to add, move and remove pivot fields, using the PivotTable Field List, go to the How to Set Up an Excel Pivot Table page.
For example, drag fields from one area in the Layout section to a different area. In the screen shot below, one of the Value Fields, Sum of Year, is being moved to the Rows area.
Change the Pivot Table Field List
To see the steps for adjusting the pivot table field list, please watch this short video tutorial. The written instructions are below the video. Download the sample file from this video, to follow along.
Change Pivot Table Field List Layout
By default, the field list shows a list of the fields at the top, and the four pivot table areas in a square at the bottom. You can change that layout, by using a command on the field list.
To change the layout:
Which layout to select:
Adjust Field List Width
To adjust the width of the field list:
Move Field List
The field list can be locked in place at the right or left of the worksheet, or it can float over the worksheet.
To move the field list:
To lock the floating field list into its previous position:
Sort Field List
The fields in the field list can be sorted alphabetically, or in the same order that the fields are arranged in the source data.
Sort the fields in Excel 2013
To change the sort order for fields listed in the PivotTable Field list, follow these steps:
To sort the fields in Excel 2010:
Defer Layout Update
If your pivot table is based on a large data source, it might respond very slowly when you add fields or move fields to a different area of the pivot table.
To improve the pivot table performance, if you plan to add or move more than one field, you can use the Defer Layout Update option.
Turn On Defer Layout Update
To defer the layout updates, when working with large data sets:
Make Pivot Table Changes
While the Defer Layout Update setting is turned on, use the following steps to make your pivot table changes:
Note: Some features, such as filtering and grouping, are not available when Defer Layout Update is activated.
Pivot Chart Fields Pane
When a Pivot Chart is selected on the worksheet, a PivotChart Fields pane is shown, instead of a PivotTable Fields pane.
It is almost identical to the PivotTable Fields pane, but two of the boxes in the field areas have different headings:
You can add, remove and move the chart fields in this PivotChart Fields Pane, exactly the same way as for the pivot table fields in the PivotTable Fields Pane.
TIP: But remember, any layout changes to the pivot chart will also be made to its related pivot table's layout.
Get Sample File
Get the sample file that was used in the Pivot Table Field List video. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.
More Pivot Table Resources
List all Pivot Fields with Details
Remove Pivot Fields with Macros
Last updated: December 16, 2022 3:59 PM