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Quickly Transposing Cells

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Quickly Transposing Cells.

You probably know the feeling—you start creating a worksheet, get a good way into it, and realize that you should have made your columns into rows and your rows into columns. In other words, you want to turn your data by 90 degrees and continue working with the sheet.

Fortunately, Excel provides an easy way to accomplish this very task. In Excel's terminology, this process is known as transposing data. To transpose your data, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to transpose.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy the data from the worksheet and place it in the Clipboard.
  3. Select the cell that will be at the top-left corner of your newly transposed data.
  4. Choose Paste Special from the Edit menu. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Paste Special dialog box.

  6. Select the Transpose check box.
  7. Click on OK. Your data appears at the point you specified, but it is transposed.

Notice that in step 2 you must use the copy command (Ctrl+C) rather than the cut command (Ctrl+X). This is because you can't choose Paste Special from the Edit menu when you cut information. For this reason, you may want to copy information from one worksheet (steps 1 and 2) and paste it into another (steps 3 through 6). You can play with this method of pasting and select the method that is best for you.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2744) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Quickly Transposing Cells.

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Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!


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