Pivot charts are an advanced tool in spreadsheets, enabling users to summarize and visualize large datasets in a meaningful way. Based on pivot tables, pivot charts allow users to represent multi-dimensional data graphically, which can be particularly useful for identifying patterns, trends, or anomalies. This tutorial will walk you through the creation and utilization of pivot charts.

Understanding Pivot Charts

Pivot charts are dynamic and can be manipulated to provide different perspectives on the data. They're based on pivot tables and maintain a live link to their underlying data. This means that as the pivot table is updated, the pivot chart reflects those changes instantly, allowing for real-time data analysis.

Creating a Pivot Chart

To create a pivot chart, you first need a pivot table. Once your pivot table is set up, creating a pivot chart is straightforward.

Generating a Pivot Table

Start by selecting the range of cells containing your data. Next, go to the "Insert" menu and choose "Pivot Table". You'll need to specify the data fields to include in your pivot table. These will become the data points in your pivot chart.

Inserting the Pivot Chart

Once your pivot table is set up, select any cell in the pivot table. Then, go to the "Insert" menu and choose "Chart". The chart will automatically be linked to the pivot table.

Customizing Your Pivot Chart

A range of customization options can make your pivot chart more insightful and visually appealing.

Selecting the Right Chart Type

Different chart types convey different types of information. Depending on the nature of your data and what you want to communicate, select the appropriate chart type from the options available.

Adding Titles and Labels

A clear, descriptive title, and well-labeled axes make it easier for viewers to understand what your chart represents. Be as specific as possible to provide context for your data.

Adjusting Colors and Styles

Modifying the color scheme and style of your chart can enhance readability. If your chart includes multiple data series, use different colors or patterns to distinguish between them.

The Power of Interactivity

One of the most powerful aspects of pivot charts is their interactivity. You can filter and sort data directly in the chart, instantly changing the visualization to highlight different aspects of the data. This makes pivot charts an excellent tool for exploring data and generating insights.


Pivot charts represent a significant leap in the world of data visualization, offering a level of interactivity and flexibility that can be invaluable when dealing with complex data. By turning raw data into a pivot table and then into a dynamic pivot chart, you can delve into your data, unearth hidden trends, and present your findings in a visually compelling way. Remember, the real power of a pivot chart lies in its ability to turn data into a story, and with practice, you'll become adept at narrating these stories.

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