Excel - How to create a pivot table from a character value with the VLOOKUP function ?

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When you create a pivot table in Excel, it manipulate the data as number and when you ask to pivot a table with string value, even if you set the function to max, you will get number.


  • Create a combination column and set a formula to concatenate all dimension columns values

Example with two columns : =CONCATENATE(A2;B2)

You will end up with a table as this one :

Excel Pivot String Source Table

  • Create the axis of the pivot table and add in the first intersection this kind of formula :

The V in VLOOKUP stands for vertical.


  • search the value CONCATENATE(G1;F2) which is the value of the pivot axis
  • in the left column of the table C2:D8 : the combination column
  • return the value of the 2 column : The column with the value
  • FALSE indicate that you want and exact match. If no match is found, the value #N/A is returned. To avoid it, see the section support
  • Drag the column to fill the pivot table and you obtain a pivot table for character data :

Excel Pivot String Value

The primary key column (the combination column) must be in ascending order



To manage the #N/A, you can use the IF and ISNA function and you ends up with this formula.


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