why would you use data bars with a pivot table

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Pivot tables are an essential tool that allows users to extract useful information from a large set of data. They allow users to summarize, filter, and rearrange large datasets into easy-to-understand tables and charts. To enhance the look and feel of a pivot table, one can use data bars to provide a graphical representation of the data. This article discusses why one would use data bars with a pivot table.

What are Data Bars?

Data bars are horizontal bars that run across a cell, representing the value of the data within the cell. The length of the bar represents the value, and the color of the bar can be customized to represent specific ranges of the values. Data bars are commonly used in conditional formatting to highlight the differences between values in a range.

Benefits of Using Data Bars with a Pivot Table

Data bars provide a quick and easy way to get a visual representation of the data in a pivot table. They allow users to identify trends and patterns in the data without having to read through the entire table. By coloring the bars, users can easily identify high and low values, as well as ranges of values that fall in-between.Data bars also make it easier to compare values between cells in a pivot table. One can quickly identify which values are higher or lower than others, making it easier to make decisions based on the data. Users can also apply formatting rules to the data bars, allowing them to highlight specific values, such as values that fall below a certain threshold.

How to Use Data Bars With a Pivot Table

To add data bars to a pivot table, one needs to follow a few simple steps. First, select the cell or range of cells where the data bars will be applied. Next, go to the Home tab on the Excel ribbon and select Conditional Formatting. From the drop-down menu, select Data Bars, and then select the type of data bar you wish to apply. Excel will then apply the data bars to the selected cells.Users can customize the data bars in several ways. They can change the color of the data bars to match the data, or change the axis position to make the data bars appear vertically instead of horizontally. Users can also apply formatting rules to the data bars to highlight specific values.


In line with the above, data bars enhance the look and feel of pivot tables, making them more readable and easier to understand. They enable users to quickly identify trends and patterns in large datasets, helping them make informed decisions based on the data. Data bars are easy to apply and customize, providing users with the flexibility they need to create eye-catching visuals with their pivot tables.


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