A pivot chart is an extension of a pivot table, so in order to have a pivot chart you must also have a pivot table. Excel provides several ways insert a pivot table and pivot chart in one step. First, try Recommended Charts. If you don’t have too much data, recommended charts will suggest pivot chart options with the small pivot icon in the upper right. This icon represents a pivot chart. When you select a pivot chart option, Excel creates the chart and pivot table on a new worksheet, configured as shown in the preview. If the data set is too large, recommended charts won’t work, and you’ll get a message that says recommended charts is not available. In that case, use the Pivot Chart button on the Insert tab of the ribbon. This option opens the create pivot table window, where you can confirm the data source, and choose a worksheet location. When you click OK, you’ll get a new blank pivot table and blank pivot chart. From there, you can add fields to either to build the chart. Now, if you already have a pivot table, you can use either of the options we just covered to add a pivot chart, just make sure you select a cell in the pivot table first instead of the data. Recommended charts will show you previews of chart options, although strangely the pivot table icon is missing. In cases where chart types won’t work with a pivot table, you’ll see a message to that effect. When you choose an option, you’ll get a new pivot chart linked to the pivot table. I’ll undo that and let’s try the Pivot Chart button. You can see the Pivot Chart button opens exactly the same window with the same options. Again make sure you select a cell in the pivot table first. Finally, you’ll also find the Pivot Chart button on the Analyze tab of the Pivot Tables Tools menu. This menu only appears when a pivot table is selected. When you use this button, the options you see are exactly the same.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.