The best Excel shortcuts to manage pivot tables

Here is a selection of the best keyboard shortcuts to manage Excel pivot tables. Excel Pivot Tables, Excel Pivot table in English, or DCT for short, allow you to cross reference data in a file very efficiently. Whether the source is a flat CSV file, another Excel tab, an SQL source such as a SQL Server table or an SSAS cube.

First of all, how can you manipulate pivot tables efficiently in Excel and save time and productivity on your projects? Here are seven Excel shortcuts specific to pivot tables created in Excel.

A selection of the best Excel shortcuts for handling pivot tables

For starters, people working in finance are familiar with many facets and features of Excel. However, many Excel users are not familiar with pivot tables, but only with the classic tables.

Here, for example, is a selection of the best Excel shortcuts to manage pivot tables. The goal here is to answer the following questions with simple but effective shortcuts.

  • How to select the whole pivot table?
  • Or how to group or separate elements in my Excel pivot table?
  • How do I hide elements of the pivot table?
  • What shortcut can I use to create a chart from the data in an existing table?

Here is a selection of seven key combinations to manipulate Excel tables or Pivot tables

  1. Check or uncheck a box for a field : SPACE
  2. Grouping elements of an Excel pivot table : ALT + SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW
  3. Separate elements of an Excel pivot table : ALT + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW
  4. Hide an element of an Excel pivot table: LEFT ARROW Hide an element of an Excel pivot table : CTRL + – (Minus sign)
  5. Create a chart from the table data in the same Excel tab : ALT + F1
  6. Create a chart from the table data in a new Excel tab : F11
  7. Open the Pivot Table Wizard in Excel : ALT + D + P


In the same way, the use of “pivot tables” is very widespread among finance, accounting and data professionals. In fact, they allow you to analyse a large amount of data in just a few clicks.

To conclude , shortcuts are useful once mastered and especially with powerful data analysis tools such as pivot tables.

To go further, here is an article on how to better manage the common Excel errors such as #VALUE, #NA or #DIV0.

What is an Excel pivot table?

An Excel pivot table is a table that has rows and columns, it allows you to analyse data by aggregating it across each column. It is built from an Excel table or a multi-dimensional Cube for example.

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