How to Switch Excel Columns and Rows

Everyone looks at information in a slightly different way. Some people create Excel spreadsheets where the data is useful, but it doesn’t work with the way you view or interact with the data. One common example is where you want to transpose or switch Excel row or column data so Row A data becomes Column A data and so on.

I recently was given a large Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that contained vendor evaluation information. The information was useful, but because of the way the data was structured, I couldn’t use tools like Auto Filter. I would also have issues if I needed to import the information to a database. A simple example of such a spreadsheet is shown below.

highlighted row to swap

Instead, I want to have the Company names display vertically in Column A and the attributes display horizontally in Row 1. This would make it easier for me to do comparisons. For example, I can’t easily filter the spreadsheet for vendors in CA. I also didn’t want to re-enter the data. The fix is rather easy using Excel’s transpose feature.

To switch Excel columns and rows,

  1. Open the spreadsheet you need to change.
  2. If needed, insert a blank worksheet.
  3. Click the first cell of your data range such as A1.
  4. Shift-click the last cell of the range. Your selection should highlight.
  5. From the Home tab menu, select Copy.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click the tab for the blank worksheet such as Sheet2.
  7. In the blank worksheet, click cell A1.
  8. From the Home tab menu, select Paste. The Paste dialog should appear.
  9. transpose button on paste dialog

  10. Click the box for Transpose.

Once you transpose the data, your company names will show in Column A. I can now sort or filter the data in many ways.

transpose Excel column

Note: For older versions of Excel, the Copy & Paste commands are on the Edit menu.