What is the difference between an Excel table and a pivot table?
Rajesh Pathak
You get excel table by keeping the cursor inside a contiguous data range and pressing Ctrl T keys on keyboard. You need to select the option ‘My table has headers’ if your table has labels/headers.

You create pivot table either from insert ribbon tab or by using shortcut keys Alt N V.

Some of the notable features of excel table:
  1. Excel table is dynamic in nature. When you add or delete new data in excel table, the data range automatically gets adjusted. When you refresh pivot table created by using excel table, pivot table will adjust itself according to the new source data in excel table
  2. When you use a formula in a cell in excel table and hit enter or Ctrl Enter keys, remaining cells in the same column capture the formula automatically. You don’t have to do manual copy and paste or manual dragging of cell downwards.
  3. Adding new columns and rows in excel table automatically adjusts the data range.
  4. Excel table provides many eye-catching table design options which is helpful to present your table in a tidy manner.
About pivot table:
  1. Pivot table you create either from excel table as discussed above, or from a normal range table.
  2. You can’t create pivot table unless and until you have a neat and clean data table.
  3. Pivot table has field options that excel table doesn’t have. Field options provide you the options to create pivot table in an appropriate manner.
  4. Pivot table is used for data analysis while excel table is used to create source data for pivot table.
Source data as a range table or excel table?

It is recommended to use excel table instead of range table as source table for creating a pivot table, though not necessary at all. But you can’t ignore the dynamic features of excel table which comes handy when you include or exclude data in excel table.

When you refresh pivot table, source data gets automatically updated when you are using excel table. But if you are using a range table, source data range remains same unless and until you update it manually in pivot table data source.