How to create a pivot table in Google Sheets

When it comes to making spreadsheets, there are totally different tiers of customers. At the underside is information entry. This is having sufficient information to set up your info in a table for file holding. One step up from this are the customers that may carry out fundamental manipulations on that information, akin to finding sums and averages.

But generally, the info in a spreadsheet will be so intensive that it is unimaginable to extract any significant info. To overcome this hurdle, take the following step and harness the facility of pivot tables. And if you happen to’re attempting to harness the facility of the best Chromebooks on the market, we have you coated.


What is a pivot table?

A pivot table is a semi-automated software that presents customized summarizations of enormous units of information to make sense of it. Before pivot tables, even if you happen to knew how to crunch your information, you continue to had to enter the formulation and format the output manually in order that it made sense to the VPs.

Pivot tables take that work out of your fingers and let your laptop deal with the heavy lifting. To perceive what pivot tables are able to, let’s play with a information set.

How to make your first pivot table

To begin, navigate to Google Sheets and open the spreadsheet you need to work on. This instance makes use of a coin assortment as a result of that is extra fascinating than month-to-month revenues and bills.

There are two methods to generate pivot tables in Sheets. You can both use the Explore button in the lower-right nook of the browser window or the Insert menu from the ribbon menu on the high of the web page.

Make a pivot table utilizing the Explore button

  1. Click the Explore button in the lower-right nook of the window to open the Explore pane.

  2. Click Pivot Table to see a preview of the table.

  3. Click Insert Pivot Table.

  4. Confirm the vary encompasses the info you need to use in your pivot table.
  5. Choose whether or not to insert the table on a new sheet or in the present one. Select New sheet to make a cleaner presentation.

  6. When you choose Existing Sheet, specify the cell you need to be the upper-left cell of your pivot table.
  7. Click Create.

Congratulations, you simply made your first pivot table! Time to replace your resume. The sheet the place you inserted your pivot table seems to be totally different from the sheet with the supply information. The distinction is the Pivot table editor panel on the correct.


  1. Return to the sheet with the unique information.
  2. Select the info you need accessible to the pivot table. In this instance, we wish every thing in columns A via Okay, so click on and drag the column heads to choose their information.

  3. Click Insert in the highest menu, then choose Pivot table from the drop-down menu to open the Create pivot table window.

  4. Confirm the vary of information you chose.
  5. Choose whether or not to insert the pivot table into a new sheet or the present sheet. Select New sheet after which click on Create.

You’ll see a new pivot table that is comparable to the one made utilizing the Explore button, solely it is empty. That’s as a result of the primary methodology we used made some guesses concerning the type of info we needed to extract from our information set. Using the second methodology would not make any assumptions, so we now have to inform Sheets which information we wish to summarize and the way we wish it summarized.


How to manipulate pivot tables in Google Sheets

The perception found by Pito Salas, the inventor of pivot tables, was that spreadsheets have been made up of three components: enter, output, and formulation. Pivot tables make managing these three components simpler by taking the grunt work of integrating them and hiding them underneath a layer of abstraction.

At the correct of the window is the Pivot table editor. This is the place you handle which inputs, or teams of cells, you need to use in your table and which formulation you need to use to manipulate that information. On the left is your spreadsheet together with your pivot table. Unlike a common spreadsheet, you will not immediately put any info in the cells. That course of is dealt with routinely primarily based on how you employ the Pivot table editor.

  1. Click the Add button subsequent to Rows to show a drop-down menu the place you possibly can select the column of information you need to use.

  2. Select Face Value.

You’ll see the cells in the primary column of the pivot table crammed with the distinctive values of the Face Value column from the unique information set. There’s additionally a new field underneath Rows in the Pivot table editor.


This is a good begin, however we’d like to do one thing concerning the classes of cash blended in with the face values.

  1. In the Pivot table editor, click on Add subsequent to Filters.

  2. Select Face Value since that is the column with the info that wants to be filtered out.

  3. In the field underneath Filters, click on Showing all objects in the Face Value field.

  4. Scroll via the listing and uncheck something that is not a face worth.
  5. When you are achieved, click on OK.

This leaves a listing of the distinctive face values in the gathering, which is not very fascinating and would not reveal something that was hidden in the unique information.


To uncover a few of the energy of pivot tables, you may want to add some values.

  1. In the Pivot table editor, click on Add subsequent to Values.

  2. Select Face Value and click on OK. This could appear redundant, however choosing the identical column of information illustrates how Values differ from Rows and Columns.

At first look, what you are won’t be apparent. So, widen column B to see what it says.


COUNTA is a Sheets perform that appears at a vary of cells and outputs what number of cells in that vary have something in them. In this case, the pivot table shows the variety of cells in the Face Value column of the unique information which have these corresponding values. In different phrases, there are 9 pennies in this assortment, 10 nickels, 4 dimes, 117 quarters, seven half {dollars}, and 31 {dollars}.


This is fairly neat, however a part of the facility of pivot tables is how simple it’s to refactor information.

  1. In the Face Values field underneath Values in the Pivot table editor, click on the Summarize by field.

  2. The pop-up menu shows a listing of Google Sheets features you possibly can apply to your information. Not each perform is suitable for each set of information. For now, choose SUM.

With simply a few clicks, we have gone from counting the cash in the gathering to getting the entire face worth. Let’s add yet another subject to see how a lot info will be squeezed out of the unique information.

  1. In the Pivot table editor, click on Add subsequent to Columns.

  2. Select Quality from the pop-up menu.

  3. Change the Summarize by perform in Values from SUM to COUNT to make the info extra readable.

This exhibits what number of cash are in the gathering and the distribution of the standard of the cash throughout the totally different face values.

Making pivot tables give you the results you want

Pivot tables weren’t made for nerds to geek out on their coin assortment. Pivot tables are a highly effective software for companies that need to make sense of the huge quantity of information they acquire. People put proficiency with pivot tables on their resumes as a result of companies worth workers that understand how to use them.

This tutorial is way from being the definitive information on pivot tables. There are tons of tips to make them do what you need with minimal effort. Still, what we laid out is greater than sufficient to begin utilizing them and determining how to make pivot tables give you the results you want.

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