Flipping Data

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 6, 2020)

2

Many people use Excel as a simple database manager, entering information in different rows of a worksheet. As you are working with your data tables, you may come across a need to reverse the order of the rows in the table. Thus, if you have a table with ten rows, the rows would go from ten to one instead of one to ten.

There is no intrinsic function in Excel that allows you to flip data in this manner. However, you can use the sorting capabilities of Excel to accomplish the same thing by following these general steps:

  1. Insert a new column immediately to the left of your data table.
  2. In the cells of the new column, enter the numbers 1 through however many rows there are in your table.
  3. Select the rows that make up your data table.
  4. Choose Sort from the Data menu. Excel displays the Sort dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Sort dialog box.

  6. In the Sort By drop-down list, indicate you want to sort by your newly created column.
  7. Click Descending as the type of sort.
  8. Click on OK. Excel reorders your data in the reverse order of what it was.

If you have to do a lot of data flipping on a daily basis, using the above steps can get rather tiring. In this case, you may want to create a macro to do the job for you. The following macro, FlipRows, will do the trick:

Sub FlipRows()
    Dim vTop As Variant
    Dim vEnd As Variant
    Dim iStart As Integer
    Dim iEnd As Integer
        Application.ScreenUpdating = False
        iStart = 1
        iEnd = Selection.Rows.Count
        Do While iStart < iEnd
            vTop = Selection.Rows(iStart)
            vEnd = Selection.Rows(iEnd)
            Selection.Rows(iEnd) = vTop
            Selection.Rows(iStart) = vEnd
            iStart = iStart + 1
            iEnd = iEnd - 1
        Loop
        Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

In order to use this macro, all you need to do is select the rows you want flipped and run it. The macro will not change your data, other than flipping the rows. In other words, it will not add any columns of information.

An interesting feature of this approach is that you can quickly adapt it to flipping columns of data. All you need to do is change all occurrences of the word "Rows" to "Columns." Thus, the following becomes the new macro:

Sub FlipColumns()
    Dim vTop As Variant
    Dim vEnd As Variant
    Dim iStart As Integer
    Dim iEnd As Integer
        Application.ScreenUpdating = False
        iStart = 1
        iEnd = Selection.Columns.Count
        Do While iStart < iEnd
            vTop = Selection.Columns(iStart)
            vEnd = Selection.Columns(iEnd)
            Selection.Columns(iEnd) = vTop
            Selection.Columns(iStart) = vEnd
            iStart = iStart + 1
            iEnd = iEnd - 1
        Loop
        Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Again, simply select the columns you want to flip and then run the macro.

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 (2653) 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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What is six more than 3?

2020-11-17 11:13:32

Amos

Hi Allen,

Thanks for that, its very useful and time saving solution.
One question though, Is there any way to auto select all data and Flip it, without any input dialog?


2020-06-06 17:26:46

Donald Berg

You should have offered, instead of a newbie inserting and then typing in a new column of numbers (as some might) a simpler method to enter numbers into a new column: Enter 1 into the new column on the top row, then click return, then then rt click and drag the small lower right box in the cell and select "fill series"". Then do the rest to traspose. If you want to transpose from a vertical column to a horizontal one just use the dialogue box (for copy/paste) by selecting rt clicked paste special


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