Tag Archives: pitan

Pitan Pivot Mage and the Quest to Slay the Bracket Problem

All is not quiet on the home front…

“Cannot open PivotTable source file” – If you have ever encountered this error message, then you know the frustrations of The Bracket Problem. If you haven’t run into this issue before, let me paint you a picture:

There some sort of pivot report on a server, for example, a report that’s being dynamically generated for Excel using OfficeWriter. An end user decides to download the report on her work machine with IE 7. When she opens the workbook, instead of the pivot table refreshing, she gets a warning message:

Cannot open PivotTable source file: ‘C:\Users\Pitan\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\….\ [PitanPivotReport[1].xlsx]Sheet1’.

When she tries downloading the report using Mozilla FireFox, the warning message doesn’t occur.

This, my friends, is The Bracket Problem.

What trickery is afoot? Continue reading Pitan Pivot Mage and the Quest to Slay the Bracket Problem

Popular (Pitan Pivot Mage Remix)

I absolutely love Wicked (I’ve seen in on Broadway and in West End), so it’s really no surprise that when I was stuck in traffic last Friday, I decided to start singing “Popular” with pivot table lyrics…

Hear the original song here.

Whenever I see data that’s way out of line,
And let’s face it, it happens all the time!
It makes me want to cringe all up inside.

And when data needs a workover,
I say, “Come on and fork it over,
and leave
that mess by the wayside.”

I’ll guarantee a fix,
with my lovely bag of magic tricks.

Don’t worry, there’s no need to be blue!
Once we are through,
it will be true:
You. Will. Use….

It’s all about pivoting.

You’ll make all the cool reports,
make your tables short,
see all the aggregate info.
So let’s start, by importing some data rows!

Everyone will think you have all the smarts,
if your reprots are filled with pivot charts.
Once I’ve finished with my magic arts
Your data will be clear
with your pivot tables near…

Because it’s pivoting.
I’ll help you do pivoting.

You may not agree right now
that pivot tables allow
you to make reports so rivetting

There’s nothing to prevent you you
from using awesome pivot-ing

La, la, la-la-la-la.

Pivot tables are the best,

And if you ever need help, call on me!

Just FYI Pitan is totally based on Galinda from Wicked

Pitan Pivot Mage: The Mystery of the ‘Replace Content’ Message

I was working with a formatted Excel report and I needed to add a pivot table. Easy-peasy, I added my lovely little pivot table with a pivot chart. Since I would be importing the data into the pivot table later, I made sure to place the pivot chart outside of the cells that the pivot table would occupy once it was populated with data (to avoid overlap). I saved my template and went to generate my report.

When I opened the output, I was greeted with a mysterious message from Excel:


I was baffled because I knew that nothing should overlap with the pivot table or pivot chart, even with after the data had been imported. Continue reading Pitan Pivot Mage: The Mystery of the ‘Replace Content’ Message