Clever Clogs tip # 688
27 January 2022

Enable dragging of fields in the PivotTable grid (Excel for Microsoft 365, 2021 and 2019) *

As you probably know by now, I love PivotTables. But one of the things that bugs me is the box stating "To build a report, choose fields for the PivotTable Field List". In a way it says "Don't look here". What's the point? If it wouldn't have been there, you wouldn't have looked!

When trying to make delegates fall in love with PivotTable reports I frequently see them focussing on that text, rather than the Field List on the right. This never caused any issues "in the old days" when you saw a grid in which you could drag the fields. Perhaps some of you remember this?

So why not change the setting?

Here's how:

  1. On the File tab, click Options. (Or press ALT, F, T.)
  2. Type the letter d or click on Data.
  3. Click the Edit Default Layout button.
  4. Click the PivotTable Options button.
  5. On the Display tab tick the Classic PivotTable layout (enables dragging of fields in the grid) check box.
  6. Click OK three times.

Changed your mind? Repeat step 1-4 and click the Reset to Excel Default button.

With thanks to Mohammed Alfan for writing about this on LinkedIn.

Related tips

  1. Create PivotTables - no know-how necessary - tip_624.php
  2. Analyse your data - the easy way - tip_662.php
  3. Exclude data from your PivotTable report using Slicers - tip_588.php
  4. Filter data in a PivotTable and PivotChart using Slicers - tip_474.php
  5. See the data behind a specific figure in a PivotTable report - tip_399.php

This week's CleverClogsTipTime on LinkedIn; just in case you missed it.

  1. Do you have family traditions?
  2. What's on your post-it this week?
  3. A hidden gem to select all text with similar formatting in Word
  4. Hot off the press! My latest article for Executive Support Media

* Unless stated otherwise this tip is written for Microsoft 365 desktop apps and Windows 10 users, but might also be useful in Office 2010, 2013 and 2016.