Drag Fields to the Pivot Table


January 19, 2023 - by Bill Jelen

Drag Fields to the Pivot Table

Problem: I want to go back to dragging fields around the pivot table like I did back in Excel 97-2003.

Strategy: There is a way to go back to the old style. Follow these steps:


  • 1. Right-click any cell in the pivot table. Choose PivotTable Options.

  • 2. Go to the Display tab within the PivotTable Options dialog.

  • 3. Choose Classic PivotTable Layout.

In the PivotTable Options dialog, go to the Display tab. Choose Classic Pivot Table Layout (enables dragging of fields in the grid).
Figure 951. Like Coke Classic, with less bite.

You can now drag fields to the report.

Just like the good old days, you can now drag the fields to drop zones in the pivot table.
Figure 952. Drag fields from the field list to the report.

When you think about it, the four blue boxes in the old pivot table layout are really drop zones. In the current Excel, Microsoft moved the drop zones to the bottom of the pivot table field list.

Gotcha: this setting is not universal. You will have to change the setting for each pivot table.

Gotcha: if you save your file as an .xls file, you will get this style every time, but as you will read in the next topic, this is not a good strategy.


This article is an excerpt from Power Excel With MrExcel

Title photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash



Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of:
Microsoft Excel Pivot Table Data Crunching (Office 2021 and Microsoft 365)

Use Microsoft 365 Excel and Excel 2021 pivot tables and pivot charts to produce powerful, dynamic reports in minutes: take control of your data and your business!