Let’s take a look. Here we have a blank pivot table. Let’s add the product field as a row label and the total sales field as a value. Notice that value fields are automatically renamed to show the type of calculation being used on the field.  In this case, we get Sum of Total Sales. If we change the calculation to Count, the field is automatically renamed to Count of Total Sales. However, we can rename the field as we like. For example, we can rename this field to Sales.  For value fields, the main restriction is that you can’t use any field names already in the source data. For example, if we try to rename the field to Total Sales, we get a warning that the pivot table field name already exists. If you really want to name a value field to the same name that appears in the source data, you can add a space character to the end of the field name. Visually, the field looks the same, and Excel won’t complain about duplicate field names. When you rename field names, you may want to confirm the original name from the source data. You can do this by accessing  Field Settings for the field in question. Either right-click on the field and choose Value field settings, or click Field Settings on the Options Tab of the PivotTable Tools ribbon. Here, you can see the original field name. In contrast to value fields, Row and Column label field names will be identical to the name in the field list. In fact, they are linked, as we’ll see in a minute. To illustrate how this works, let’s add Category as a row  label and Region as a Column label, then rename the fields. When you add a field as a row or column label, you’ll see the same name appear in the Pivot table. You’re free to type over the name directly in the pivot table. You can also use the Field Settings dialog box to rename the field. When you rename fields used in Columns or Rows, the name also changes in the field list. In fact, even if you remove the field and refresh the pivot table, your new name will stick around. To go back to the original name, re-enter the field name manually. Alternately, you can clear the pivot table and start again.

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.