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Question
Hello and thank you for your time.

I am using Microsoft Excel 2010.  I sell products on a popular website.  I download a monthly transaction report that contains all transactions for the month. Each transaction has details such as Order Date, SKU, Quantity, Fees, Total, and all the details I would need.  Because there are many orders and many items, separating the items and totaling to determine my best performers is becoming too time consuming.  I can't seem to find a tool or function that will take all the transactions for the month as input and then output a table of each item with the totals for each item.  Can you point me in the right direction? (The subtotal function was my first thought, but it is grayed out for some reason)

Answer
Dustin,

Subtotals should work but you would need to sort your data so all the like items are together.  Subtotal will be grayed out if the worksheet is protected.  Also Excel sometimes "protects" a workbook if it came from the internet - but it usually puts up a message to tell you that and give you the option to work with the workbook.

An alternative would be to use a pivot table.  This is found under the Insert tab.  A pivot table is designed to summarize numeric data from many different perspectives.  So one perspective could be SKU.  Pivot tables are one of the most powerful tools in excel and I believe they would be very applicable to your situation.

Debra Dalgleish has written several books on pivot tables and has a ton of information on her site:
http://www.contextures.com/

on that page, look at "popular Excel articles on Contextures"  The next to last article in that section is creating pivot tables.  Also, if you go to her tech tips from the top of the page, you will get an index of articles with a large section being on pivot tables -
(http://www.contextures.com/tiptech.html    is the URL)

but the entire site is an excellent reference particularly for data related capabilities.

--
Regards,
Tom Ogilvy  
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Tom Ogilvy

Expertise

Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]

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Extensive experience.

Education/Credentials
Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

Awards and Honors
Microsoft MVP in Excel.

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