Pivot Tables Version Nightmare

Pivot tables can be tricky by nature and a significant portion of my support work has been dedicated to helping customers incorporate pivot tables with ExcelWriter.

One customer wrote in with the following issue: his client had recently imposed a constraint that all reports had to be in the .xls format, so he needed to convert several OfficeWriter reports designed in Excel 2007 to the 2003 format, but he was having trouble switching the pivot tables.

When he tried to save the 2007 format report as a 2003 format report, the pivot tables were locked in a read-only state, wherein users could only edit the pivot tables if the report was resaved in the 2007 format. After doing some testing in Excel 2003 and 2007, I found that this was the native behavior for Excel files as well.

After some more investigation, I found that there is no means of converting a version 12 pivot table (a.k.a. a pivot table developed in Excel 2007) to an earlier version (i.e. version 10 for the Excel 2003). The only option available is to save the file in the earlier format and then recreate the table from scratch.

Luckily, saving the report in the Office 2003 or earlier format and then recreating the pivot table using the instructions for Using Pivot Tables with the ExcelTemplate Object and Data Markers works perfectly.

A word of caution: when creating pivot tables in Excel 2007 for the binary format, make sure that the file is in Compatibilty Mode before creating the table. Otherwise, the table will be a version 12 pivot table and you won’t even know until you go to save and the compatibility checker says there’s been a loss of fidelity. (Excel 2007 will automatically enter compatibility mode if the file opened is in the Excel 2003 format).

Some things you should know about Excel 2007 pivot tables:

-Upgrading from older versions is easy – just save the file or report in the newer format (.xlsx or Office 2007 RDL)

-ExcelWriter no longer throws errors if the data markers get pulled into a version 12 pivot table. The pivot tables do experience issues with the data markers being displayed in the drop-down filters if the data markers are pulled into the pivot table in the template. We recommend following the instructions outlined in the article mentioned earlier.

Pivot Table Resources

Pivot tables can be tricky by nature and a significant portion of my support work has been dedicated to helping customers incorporate pivot tables with ExcelWriter.

One customer wrote in with the following issue: his client had recently imposed a constraint that all reports had to be in the .xls format, so he needed to convert several OfficeWriter reports designed in Excel 2007 to the 2003 format, but he was having trouble switching the pivot tables.

When he tried to save the 2007 format report as a 2003 format report, the pivot tables were locked in a read-only state, wherein users could only edit the pivot tables if the report was resaved in the 2007 format. After doing some testing in Excel 2003 and 2007, I found that this was the native behavior for Excel files as well.

After some more investigation, I found that there is no means of converting a version 12 pivot table (a.k.a. a pivot table developed in Excel 2007) to an earlier version (i.e. version 10 for the Excel 2003). The only option available is to save the file in the earlier format and then recreate the table from scratch.

Luckily, saving the report in the Office 2003 or earlier format and then recreating the pivot table using the instructions for Using Pivot Tables with the ExcelTemplate Object and Data Markers works perfectly.

A word of caution: when creating pivot tables in Excel 2007 for the binary format, make sure that the file is in Compatibilty Mode before creating the table. Otherwise, the table will be a version 12 pivot table and you won’t even know until you go to save and the compatibility checker says there’s been a loss of fidelity. (Excel 2007 will automatically enter compatibility mode if the file opened is in the Excel 2003 format).

Some things you should know about Excel 2007 pivot tables:

-Upgrading from older versions is easy – just save the file or report in the newer format (.xlsx or Office 2007 RDL)

-ExcelWriter no longer throws errors if the data markers get pulled into a version 12 pivot table. The pivot tables do experience issues with the data markers being displayed in the drop-down filters if the data markers are pulled into the pivot table in the template. We recommend following the instructions outlined in the article mentioned earlier.

Pivot Table Resources

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