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Excel – How do I change a Pivot Table back to the classic (version 2003 and earlier) display?

Sharyn Baines

Learn how to change a Pivot Table back to the classic display of version 2003 and earlier.

If you were familiar with Pivot tables in Excel versions prior to Excel 2007 you will be very used to the classic display of working with the blue lines of the Pivot Table and the ability to drag and drop data right on to the Pivot Table.

In Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 Pivot Tables are now quite different. The blue lines are gone, along with the wonderful drag-and-drop feature.

Change a Pivot Table back to the classic display

The image below shows how the Pivot Table area is displayed in the newer versions of Excel.

pivot table new layoutI’ve had a few people share with me their disappointment at having lost these features.

The great thing is that they aren’t lost, only hidden. If you would like to return to the classic Pivot Table layout:

  1. Click on the Pivot Table so that you can see the Pivot Table contextual tabs.

2. From the Options tab click the Options button (on the far left of the Ribbon, in the Pivot Table group).

3. Click the Display tab.

4. Select Classic PivotTable layout (enables dragging of fields in the grid).

5. Click OK. Your Pivot Table will now be displayed in the classic view. If you change your mind just go back and remove the check mark from the classic view option.

Pivot Table classic display

We cover Pivot Tables in-depth in our ‘Excel Stage 3‘ training course.

Sharyn is an expert trainer.  She became the first certified Microsoft® MOUS Authorised Instructor in New Zealand.

She is endorsed by Microsoft® as a qualified Microsoft® Office Specialist and has more than 20 years of experience in the training industry, developing and delivering technology training workshops. Her approach to taking the “techie-speak” out of technology training has placed her as a preferred supplier to many of New Zealand’s leading organisations.

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