Transposing data means moving it from columns to rows, or rows to columns. At first glance, this seems time-consuming. But in fact, it’s easy. Let’s learn how to transpose data in Microsoft Excel.
How to Transpose Data in Excel
You’ve asked for the names of five hundred team members in an Excel spreadsheet. You want to place them in a column, but when you receive the file, they’re all in one long row. Think you have to retype them manually? Think again. This calls for transposing the data in Excel.
We’ll work with a small sample. The process is identical for two, or twenty thousand data points. And it’s as easy as copy and paste.
Begin by selecting your range of data, in this case, cells A1:D1. Right-click and choose Copy, or press Control/Command + C on your keyboard. Find a blank cell nearby, and right-click into it.
You’ll see a dropdown appear with a plethora of options. The one you want is Paste Special. Hover over this option, and you’ll see another list appear. Approximately half-way down is the Transpose option.
Click on this. Your data will paste into the new cell, but it will be formatted into a column.
Transpose works identically if you’re copying and pasting from a column. In that case, you’ll see a new row appear with all of your data points inside.
Remember, you can paste into a new cell location, or paste over your original data, to keep your formatting in shape.
As you can see, the ability to transpose in Excel instantly eliminates time-consuming rework. It’s a useful way to rearrange data in a heartbeat, with no tedious work required. Give it a try next time you have data you need, presented in a way you don’t want to use. It works with data of any kind: text, numbers, currencies, percentages and more.