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Pivot Table Selections

See how you can enable Microsoft Excel pivot table selection, then select just the pivot table labels, or select both the labels and the data. Select the entire pivot table, and move it to a different location

pivot selection row label

Pivot Table Selection

In this pivot table video tutorial, you'll see how to enable selection and use the Selection Arrow.

There are written steps, and more pivot table selection tips, below the video

Video Timeline

  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 0:15 Pivot Table Selection Arrow
  • 0:47 Select Subtotal Rows
  • 1:06 Select Labels and Values
  • 1:59 Change Enable Selection Setting

Enable Selection in Pivot Table

You can use the Selection Arrow to highlight specific sections of an Excel Pivot Table.

However, before the Selection Arrow can work correctly, you might have to turn on the Enable Selection feature.

To turn on Enable Selection, follow these steps:

  1. Select a cell in the pivot table, and on the Ribbon, click the Options tab.
  2. In the Actions group, click Select
  3. Check to see if Enable Selection is ON or OFF, as shown in the screen shot below.

    enable selection on

  4. If Enable Selection is OFF, click it to activate the feature.
  5. If Enable Selection is ON, click the Excel worksheet, to close the menu without making a selection. go to top

Select Entire Pivot Table

Once the Enable Selection feature has been turned on, you can use the Selection Arrow to select the entire Pivot Table.

To select the entire pivot table, including the report filters:

  1. Point to the top border of the top left cell, in the body of the pivot table.
  2. When the pointer changes to a thick black down arrow, click, to select the entire pivottable.

    pivot selection row label

In some Pivot Table report layouts, the Select All arrow might not appear when you point to the top left cell. In that case, you can use the Ribbon commands.

To select the entire pivot table, including the report filters:

  1. Select a cell in the pivot table, and on the Ribbon, click the Options tab.
  2. In the Actions group, click Select
  3. Click Entire PivotTable.

pivot selection row label

Move a Pivot Table

Instead of manually selecting a large pivot table and moving it, you can use a built-in command to move a pivot table. Watch this short video to see the steps, and the written instructions are below the video.

Move a Pivot Table

If you need to move a pivot table, after creating it, there is a Ribbon command that will automatically select the entire pivot table, and move it to a new location on the spreadsheet, or on a different sheet.

To move a pivot table:

  1. Select any cell in the pivot table
  2. On the Excel Ribbon, under Pivot Table Tools, click the Options tab
  3. In the Actions group, click the Move PivotTable command
  4. move pivot table

  5. In the Move dialog box, select New Worksheet, or select a location on an existing sheet.
  6. move pivot table

  7. Click OK

Select Labels in Pivot Table

Once the Enable Selection feature has been turned on, you can use the Selection Arrow to select specific sections of an Excel Pivot Table.

Row Labels

For example, follow these steps to select only the Row Labels for the Region pivot table field:

  1. Point to the top border of a Row Label heading
  2. When the pointer changes to a thick black arrow, click, to select the row labels for that field.

Note: While the Row Label cells are selected, if you click the top border a second time, only the row heading cells remains selected.

pivot selection row label

Column Labels

Use a similar technique to select the column headings, which are listed horizontally, across the top of the pivot table body.

To select only the Column Labels, follow these steps:

  1. Point to the top border of a Column Label heading
  2. When the pointer changes to a thick black arrow, click, to select the column labels for that field.

    pivot selection column label

To select all the Labels:

  1. Point to the top border of a Column Label heading
  2. When the pointer changes to a thick black arrow, click, to select the column labels for that field.

    pivot selection column label

Select Pivot Table Labels and Values

After you have selected the Row or Column labels, you can extend the selection, to include the Labels and their related numbers, in the Values area.

To select the Labels and Values, follow these steps:

  1. Select Row or Column labels, as described in the previous section.
  2. On the Excel Ribbon, click the Options tab.
  3. In the Actions group, click Select
  4. Click Labels and Values

    pivot selection labels and values

Extend Pivot Table Selection

After you use the selection arrow to select row headings in a pivot table, you can extend that selection, by dragging, or clicking.

Drag to Extend Selection

In the screen shot below,

  • First, I selected the Central region row label and values, by clicking to the left of the "Central" label.
    • Note: the Central Total line was not selected
  • pivot selection labels and values
  • Next, with the Central cells still selected, I pointed to the left side of one of the selected row label cells
    • Either the "Central" cell, or the empty cell below it will work for this step
  • Next, I dragged the pointer down, and the Central Total line was selected
  • I dragged down a bit further, and the East section, and its total line, were added to the selected range

pivot selection labels and values

Click to Extend Selection

Another way to extend the pivot table selection is by clicking the left mouse button, combined with either the Shift key or the Ctrl key.

Extend with Shift + Click

Use Shift + Click if you you want to select all the row labels, from a starting point, to an specific end point.

In the screen shot below,

  • First, I selected the Central region row label and values, by clicking to the left of the "Central" label.
    • Note: the Central Total line was not selected
  • pivot selection labels and values
  • Next, I pressed the Shift key, and clicked in the blank cell below the East region label.
    • Note: The pointer appears as a big white plus sign, instead of a black arrow
  • All sections, from the first selection, down to the Shift-Click section, are selected.

pivot selection labels and values

Extend with Ctrl + Click

Press Ctrl + Click if you you want to select specific row labels, in addition to the current selection.

In the screen shot below,

  • First, I selected the Central region row label and values, by clicking to the left of the "Central" label.
    • Note: the Central Total line was not selected
  • pivot selection labels and values
  • Next, I pressed the Ctrl key, and clicked to the left of the Northeast region label.
    • Note: The pointer appears as a black arrow
  • Only the first selection, and the Ctrl-Click section, are selected.
    • Note: Because the Central Total line was not selected, the Northeast Total was not automatically selected either.

pivot selection labels and values

Get the Sample File

You can download the zipped Pivot Table Selection sample file for this tutorial. The Excel workbook is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.

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Last updated: February 20, 2023 8:03 PM