Creating Stand-Alone PivotCharts in Excel 2013

by K2 Enterprises | Mar 16, 2016
Figure 1

PivotCharts are outstanding tools for helping readers to understand the information communicated in PivotTables. Some PivotTable users describe PivotCharts as graphical extensions of PivotTables because in prior versions of Excel, you needed to build a PivotTable before you could build a related PivotChart. However, beginning with Excel 2013, you can build standalone PivotCharts without an accompanying PivotTable. In this tip, you will learn how to create standalone PivotCharts, based on Excel’s Data Model feature.

Constructing a Standalone PivotChart

To construct a standalone PivotChart, begin by clicking in or selecting the data range you want to convert to your PivotChart. Then, select PivotChart from the Insert tab of the Ribbon. In the resulting Create PivotChart dialog box, check the box next to Add this data to the Data Model, as shown in Figure 1. Click OK to display the PivotChart placeholder and the Field List.

Create the PivotChart by dragging fields to the appropriate drop areas in the PivotChart Field List. Re-size, filter, and format the chart as required to complete the chart. A "hidden" PivotTable summarizes the data for this PivotChart just as for any other, but the PivotTable is contained in Excel's in-memory Data Model and is not visible to users. Furthermore, you can copy or move the PivotChart to another workbook without affecting a user's ability to modify the chart. This allows end-users to use the chart for analysis without needing any knowledge whatsoever of PivotTables.


PivotCharts are yet another fantastic feature in Excel, but go largely unnoticed by most Excel users. Perhaps this is because of the previous requirement to build a PivotTable before building a PivotChart. With that requirement vanishing in Excel 2013, there is no reason not to use PivotCharts for enhanced reporting and analytics capabilities in Excel.

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