Reorganizing Data

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


If you import a data list into Excel, it is not unusual to end up with a lot of data in column A. In fact, it is not unusual to have nothing in any of the other columns. (This all depends on the nature of the data you are importing, of course.) As part of working with the data in Excel, you may want to "reorganize" the data so that it is pulled up into more columns than just column A.

As an example, imagine that you imported your data, and it ended up occupying rows 1 through 212 of column A. What you really want is for the data to occupy columns A through F, of however many rows are necessary to hold the data. Thus, A2 needs to be moved to B1, A3 to C1, A4, to D1, A5 to E1, A6 to F1, and then A7 to A2, A8 to B2, etc.

To reorganize data in this manner, you can use the following macro. Select the data you want to reorganize, and then run the macro. You are asked how many columns you want in the reorganized data, and then the data shifting begins.

Sub CompressData()
    Dim rSource As Range
    Dim rTarget As Range
    Dim iWriteRow As Integer
    Dim iWriteCol As Integer
    Dim iColCount As Integer
    Dim iTargetCols As Integer
    Dim J As Integer

    iTargetCols = Val(InputBox("How many columns?"))
    If iTargetCols > 1 Then
        Set rSource = ActiveSheet.Range(ActiveWindow.Selection.Address)
        If rSource.Columns.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub

        iWriteRow = rSource.Row + (rSource.Cells.Count / iTargetCols)
        iWriteCol = rSource.Column + iTargetCols - 1
        Set rTarget = Range(Cells(rSource.Row, rSource.Column), _
          Cells(iWriteRow, iWriteCol))

        For J = 1 To rSource.Cells.Count
            rTarget.Cells(J) = rSource.Cells(J)
            If J > (rSource.Cells.Count / iTargetCols) Then _
              rSource.Cells(J).Clear
        Next J
    End If
End Sub

The macro transfers information by defining two ranges: the source range you selected when you ran the macro and the target range defined by the calculated size based on the number of columns you want. The source range is represented by the rSource variable object, and the target range by rTarget. The For ... Next loop is used to actually transfer the values.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2301) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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