How to Fix Pivot Table field name is not valid Error in Excel

MS Excel has a powerful feature called Pivot table that can be used to provide a summary of a vast chunk of data. However, if you are not careful while creating the pivot table, you are likely to encounter the following error –

Pivot Table field name is not valid

In this article, let us discuss the causes of seeing this and possible fixes to overcome the Pivot Table field name is not valid error.

Pivot Table field name is not valid error

This error is mostly seen during the creation or when you try to refresh the pivot table. This happens when there are one or more blank heading columns in the data.

Consider the below data,


Sample Data Pivot Table


When you try to create a pivot table, you see an error as follows,


Relicate Pivot Error


Fixes to solve the error – Pivot Table field name is not valid

Fix 1: Create an Excel Table from the data and then turn it into a Pivot Table

When an Excel Table is created, headings to the blank columns are added automatically.

Step 1: Select the required data

Step 2: Click on Insert from the top-menu

Step 3: Click on Table

Step 4: In the Create Table window that opens, verify the data range

Step 5: Click on OK 


Creating Table From Data Min

Fix 2: Verify the Range in the Create Pivot Table dialog box

At times, by mistake, the blank column next to the last column will be selected.

In the Create Pivot Table Dialog, under Select a table or range section, ensure that the range specified does not contain blank columns.



Verify The Range


Fix 3: Check if columns with blank headings are hidden

Step 1: Select all the columns within the Pivot table and then right-click on it

Step 2: Choose Unhide from the context menu.


Unhide Columns


Fix 4: Unmerge the merged cells in Heading Row

Step 1: Identify the Merged Cell within the Heading Row and click on it

Step 2: From the top menu, click on Home

Step 3: Click on the downward arrow next to Merge & Center

Step 4: Choose Unmerge Cells


Unmerge Merged Cells

Fix 5: Check if the Heading name has overlapped with a blank heading next to it

Consider the below example, Serial Number from column A has overlapped B


Name Overlapping


Step 1: Click on each column and verify its content in the formula bar. Refer to the below example, A1 has the value Serial Number


A1 Cell Value


Step 2: Repeat the same process and identify the blank cell.


Identify The Blank Cell


Step 3: Once identified, give a suitable heading.

Things to remember to avoid the Pivot Table field name is not valid Error :

  • Column Headings cannot be blank
  • Proper range should be selected while creating the Pivot Table
  • Blank columns shouldn’t be present in the range.

That’s All

We hope this article has been informative. Thank you for Reading.