Error Message "PivotTable Field Name Is Not Valid"

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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


In Microsoft Excel 97, when you create a new PivotTable or refresh data for an existing PivotTable (by clicking Refresh Data on the Data menu), you may receive the following error message:
The PivotTable field name is not valid. To create a PivotTable, you must use data that is organized as a list with labeled columns. If you are changing the name of a PivotTable field, you must type a new name for the field.
In Microsoft Excel versions 5.0, 5.0a, 5.0c, or 7.0, you may receive the following error message:
Pivot table field name is not valid


This problem occurs when the first row of the range from which the PivotTable is attempting to pull data contains one or more empty cells.


To resolve this problem, use either of the following methods.

Method 1

Modify the first row so that it does not contain any empty cells.

Method 2

Change the range the PivotTable references to a range where the first row does not contain empty cells. To change or to determine the range an existing PivotTable references, do the following:

  1. Select a cell within the PivotTable.
  2. On the Data menu, click PivotTable Report (Click PivotTable in Microsoft Excel 5.0 or 7.0).
  3. Click Back to display the "PivotTable Wizard - Step 2 of 4" dialog box.
  4. The current range for the PivotTable is displayed. Edit the source data range.
  5. Click Finish.


Microsoft Excel 97

For more information about PivotTables, click the Office Assistant, type "pivottable," click Search, and then click to view "Create a PivotTable."

NOTE: If the Assistant is hidden, click the Office Assistant button on the Standard toolbar. If Microsoft Help is not installed on your computer, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
120802 Office: How to Add/Remove a Single Office Program or Component

Microsoft Excel 7.0

For more information about changing the source data for a PivotTable, click the Index tab in Microsoft Excel Help, type the following text
PivotTables, Updating Source Data
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Change source data for a PivotTable" topic.

Microsoft Excel 5.0

"User's Guide," version 5.0, Chapter 24 "Creating a Pivot Table"

For more information about "Changing Source Data for a Pivot Table" in Microsoft Excel 5.0, click the Search button in Help, and type:
Pivot Tables, Source Data
Choose the Show Topics button, select the topic, and choose Go To.

Article ID: 141286 - Last Review: Aug 17, 2005 - Revision: 1