Change the name of items directly in the Pivot Table

Do you need to change the name of items directly in the Pivot Table? When working in Pivot Tables you sometimes get data which uses inconvenient names for items e.g. you can have the day of the week shown as 1,2,3 etc instead of Monday, Tuesday etc.

If you cannot change the underlying database, it is useful to realise that you can change the name of items directly in the Pivot Table and it will remember your preference from then on.

Pivot Items inconveniently named

As shown below, for the day of the week, this Pivot Table is using a number to represent the day of the week (probably using the WEEKDAY function in Excel). It would be better if it labelled the week day name. If you can’t change the underlying database you can do it directly in the Pivot table by just overwriting the unwanted label with your preferred label.

Change the name of items directly in the Pivot Table

Change pivot item and field names directly in the Pivot Table

So below we only typed Monday into cell B4, and the Pivot Table, on its own, understood that all the 1’s in the field Day of Week must rather be shown as ‘Monday’.

Change the name of items directly in the Pivot Table

You would need to manually type each day of the week (but only once), so this trick is only useful when there are a small amount of change e.g. Yes, No, Active, Not Active etc.

If you have a large amount of changes e.g. change all product numbers into product names, rather correct it in the underlying database by merging the number and names together in one of the various ways that Excel allows.