Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Alternatives to Pivot Charts
Alternatives to Pivot Charts
There are generally two reasons why you need an alternative to using pivot charts: You don’t want
the overhead that comes with a pivot chart, and you want to avoid some of the formatting
limitations of pivot charts.
In fact, sometimes you may create a pivot table simply to summarize and shape your data in
preparation for charting. In these situations, you don’t plan on keeping your source data, and you definitely
don’t want a pivot cache taking up memory and file space.
In the example in Figure 15-19, you can see a pivot table that summarizes revenue by quarter for
each product.
Figure 15-19: This pivot table was created to summarize and chart revenue by quarter for each product.
The idea here is that you create this pivot table only to summarize and shape your data for charting.
You don’t want to keep the source data, nor do you want to keep the pivot table with all its
overhead. The problem is that if you try to create a chart using the data in the pivot table, you inevitably
create a pivot chart, which means you have all the overhead of the pivot table looming in the
background. Of course, this could be problematic if you don’t want to share your source data with end
users or you don’t want to inundate them unnecessarily with large files.
The good news is that with a few simple techniques, you can create a chart from a pivot table, but
not end up with a pivot chart.
Disconnecting charts from pivot tables
Sometimes you want to chart the data in your pivot table, but don’t need the chart to remain
connected to the pivot table. Maybe you want to e-mail just the chart to someone without the pivot
table. Maybe you need a quick one-time chart and don’t need to keep the connection to the pivot
table. Whatever the case, you can use any of these three alternative techniques for creating charts
that are disconnected from pivot tables.
Create a standard chart from current pivot table values
After you’ve created and structured your pivot table appropriately, select the entire pivot table and
copy it. Then under the Insert tab, select Paste Values, as shown in Figure 15-20.
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