You may sometimes encounter the following error in Excel when attempting to create a pivot table:
The PivotTable field name is not valid.
This error usually occurs when you attempt to create a pivot table but one of the columns in the data source you’re using does not have a header.
To resolve this error, simply add a header name to the column(s) that are missing headers.
The following example shows how to resolve this error in practice.
Example: How to Fix Pivot Table Name Field is Not Valid
Suppose we have the following dataset in Excel that contains information about various basketball players:
Notice that the first column contains team names for each player but there is no column header.
Suppose we would like to use this dataset to create a pivot table that summarizes the points scored by team and by position.
If we attempt to use the range A1:C11 to create this pivot table, we’ll receive an error message:
We receive this error message because there is no header in cell A1.
To resolve this error, we can simply add a header name:
Now when we use the range A1:C11 to create a pivot table, we won’t receive any error message because each column we’re attempting to use now has a header name.
We will be able to successfully create the pivot table without any errors:
The following tutorials explain how to fix other common errors in Excel: