Configuring your Slicers
Slicer options on the ribbon
There is a host of settings you can apply to your slicers. The Ribbon shows most of them:
Ribbon (cut in two halves so it fits on this page) showing the slicer options tab.
The Slicer Tools contextual ribbon tab houses a number of groups to change your slicer's appearance and behavior. Let me discuss them here.
This group houses three important controls. You can change the name of a slicer here (Slicer Caption), change some settings controlling which items are listed in a slicer and how they are sorted and filtered (Slicer Settings). Also, you can set up which Pivottables connect to your slicer (I explain that below).
Slicer Styles Group
A quick way to format your slicers is by applying one of the built-in slicer styles. Like any style in Excel 2010, these adhere to the theme you've selected. This makes it easy to keep your workbook design tidy and consistent.
Like cell styles you can create your own slicer styles too, by right-clicking one of them and choosing "Duplicate", followed by right-clicking the newly duplicated style and choosing "Modify".
Just like you can easily change the colors of your slicers by applying a different style to the slicer it is simple to modify the button layout and appearance, just adjust the numbers in that group of the ribbon.
These three controls enable you to change the button layout and size
And last but not least a small group which lets you edit the button sizes.
Commands not in ribbon
Unfortunately, not everything you need is on the ribbon. The missing options are quickly accessible through the slicer's right-click menu however. Select the "Size and Properties" option to get there. Here you can control whether or not the slicer must be printed and should move/size with cells just like any other shape on a sheet. And you can turn off resizing and moving to prevent your users from messing with your layout.
Changing a Slicer's font size
If you've scurried through all slicer dialogs like I have, you'll have noticed there is no way to change the font size of a slicer.
Or is there? Of course there is, but is has been cunningly hidden!
The basic idea is that you must edit the slicer's style. But since you can only edit custom styles, the first step is to add a custom style. Pick one you like best and right-click it, then select Duplicate...:
Right-click a slicer style and select "Duplicate"
The second step is editing the new custom style. Right-click that style and select "Modify...":
Right-click a slicer style and select "Modify".
In the dialog that pops up, select "Whole Slicer" end then click the Format button:
The Modify slicer Quick style dialog.
As you can see in the screenshot below, now you can edit the slicer's Font.
Time to select a nicer font for your slicer!.
After you OK this dialog, probably nothing appears to happen to your slicer. Don't worry, all that is needed now is applying your new custom style to the slicer and you're done!
A very useful option of slicers is that you can tie them to more than one Pivottable and/or -chart.
The way to handle this is by selecting the slicer in question and then clicking the Pivottable Connections button in the Slicer Settings group on the Slicer Tools contextual ribbon tab:
the Pivottable Connections button in the Slicer Settings group on the Slicer Tools contextual ribbon tab.
This brings up the following tiny dialog:
the Pivottable Connections dialog.
As you can see, Excel has listed a couple of Pivottables in your file to tie the slicer to.
Luckily, Excel is smart enough to ensure that only Pivottables using the same cache as the selected slicer is tied to are in the list.
If you have more than one slicer on a particular field (e.g. a slicer on "City" on each sheet with a Pivottable), then you must take care when selecting which tables the slicer relates to. As soon as you check more than one check box, the slicers working on the checked Pivottables will be permanently tied together. The only way to make the slicers work independently again is by using the Undo button.
Next: Slicers and VBA