How to Change Row Colors in Pivot Table

By Sam N. Austin

A pivot table is a spreadsheet tool that simplifies the process of extracting useful information from raw data. A spreadsheet might contain historical data about a company's product sales in the form of a daily list that shows the type of products sold, the location of the buyer, the amount paid for each purchase and the name of the salesperson. A pivot table would allow you to quickly retrieve information such as the total dollar amount of sales made by a given salesperson in a given month. Microsoft Excel 2003 allows you to create pivot tables based on spreadsheet data and customize the appearance in great detail. One way is you can change row colors in a pivot table.

Open Microsoft Excel 2003, then open the workbook containing the pivot table you want to change the row colors.

Click the tab in the Excel workbook for the sheet that contains the pivot table. If workbook tabs are hidden, click the "Tools" link in the menu bar, then click the "Options" link in the drop-down menu to open the "Options" dialog box. Click the "View" tab in the dialog box, check the box next to "Sheet tabs," then click the "OK" button.

Select one of the rows in the pivot table you want to change the color. Click the first cell in the row, then drag the pointer to the final cell. Do not select the row by clicking on the row number as this will result in the row color you apply extending beyond the limits of the pivot table.

Right click over the row you have selected and click the "Format Cells" link in the context menu.

Click the "Patterns" tab, then click the color you want from the set of colors displayed in the "Cell Shading" section.

Click the "OK" button to close the "Format Cells" window and apply the color you chose to the row you selected. Repeat the process to apply color to other rows in the pivot table.