How to format data in spreadsheet

Copper Contributor

How do I clean up large data sets which has some of the role rows with different heights etc. so that I can use it to perform pivot tables. I have tried to copy the whole data, then select data option on the tool bar, select text to column then a message crops up to say I can only format one cell. Not sure if this is the way to do it. Please assist.


1 Reply


Formatting data for pivot tables in spreadsheets involves two main aspects:

1. Data Consistency:

  • Row Height: Ensure all rows have the same height. Select the entire data range and adjust the row height using the "Row Height" option in the ribbon.
  • Data Types: Verify that each column contains consistent data types (e.g., all numbers in the same column). Use the "Text to Columns" feature if necessary. However, it's crucial to understand that this feature separates text based on delimiters, not row height.
  • Missing Values: Handle missing values consistently. You can either replace them with a specific value (e.g., "0" or "N/A") or leave them blank.

2. Text to Columns (Optional):

This feature is helpful when your data has multiple values separated within a single cell. Here's how to use it correctly:

  1. Select the entire data range containing the columns you want to split.
  2. Go to the Data tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click on Text to Columns.
  4. Choose the appropriate delimiter based on how your data is separated (e.g., comma, space, tab).
  5. Select the "Treat consecutive delimiters as one" option if necessary.
  6. Click "Next" and choose the data format for each resulting column.
  7. Click "Finish" to split the data into separate columns.

Important Note:

  • Text to Columns operates on individual cells, not entire rows.
  • If your issue is solely with different row heights, using "Text to Columns" won't be necessary.

Additional Tips:

  • Use conditional formatting: This helps visually identify inconsistencies in your data, such as different row heights or data types.
  • Filter your data: Filter out irrelevant rows or columns before creating your pivot table.

By following these steps, you can ensure your data is clean and consistent, allowing you to create effective pivot tables for analysis. If you encounter further issues, feel free to provide more details about your specific data and the challenges you're facing.