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: Three-Dimensional Transpositions.

Three-Dimensional Transpositions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 1, 2017)

As a former heavy-duty Lotus 1-2-3 user at a prior job, Patti got VERY attached to a feature that is sorely lacking in Excel: the ability to transpose data in three dimensions. Two-dimensional transposition is supported in Excel, but Patti has not figured out a way to take a row or column or table and spread it through a stack of worksheets. This was a function that was used daily by everyone in her finance office, and she really misses it.

Patti is right; there is no built-in function to do this in Excel. The closest option is to use a PivotTable and the "Show Pages" capabilities it includes. In general, you follow these steps:

  1. Create a PivotTable from your data as you normally would.
  2. Place the column from which you want worksheets created into the "Pages" section of the PivotTable.
  3. On the PivotTable toolbar, click the PivotTable option at the left side of the toolbar. Excel displays a number of options you can choose.
  4. Choose Show Pages. Excel asks you to confirm that you want to show the pages.
  5. Click OK.

What you end up with is a series of worksheets, one for each entry the column you specified in step 2. Those worksheets each contain a "page" of the PivotTable.

If this still doesn't quite do what you want, then you'll need to resort to using a macro to transpose the data. Such a macro can get quite complex, but basically all it needs to do is step through your data table and move each row (or column) of data to its own worksheet.

As an example, the following macro (Transpose3D) will take each row from a selected range of cells and place that row on its own, newly created worksheet.

Sub Transpose3D()
    Dim rngTbl As Range
    Dim wsName As String
    Dim R As Integer
    Dim C As Integer
    Dim i As Integer
    Dim j As Integer
    Dim Killit As Integer
    Dim RCount As Integer
    Dim CCount As Integer
    Dim Table1() As Variant
    Dim Row1() As Variant

    RCount = Selection.Rows.Count
    CCount = Selection.Columns.Count
    If RCount < 2 Then
        MsgBox ("Error; Select a range with more than one row.")
        GoTo EndItAll
    End If

    wsName = ActiveSheet.Name
    R = ActiveCell.Row
    C = ActiveCell.Column

    Set rngTbl = Selection
    ReDim Table1(1 To RCount, 1 To CCount)
    ReDim Row1(1 To 1, 1 To CCount)
    Table1() = rngTbl.Value

    On Error GoTo Abend

    For i = 1 To RCount
         If SheetExists(wsName & "_Row_" & i) Then
            Killit = MsgBox("Sheet " & wsName & "_Row_" & i & _
              " Already Exists!" & vbCrLf & _
              "     Cancel: Stop Transposition" & vbCrLf & _
              "     OK: Delete Sheet and Continue", vbOKCancel)
            If Killit = vbCancel Then GoTo EndItAll
            Application.DisplayAlerts = False
            Sheets(wsName & "_Row_" & i).Delete
            Application.DisplayAlerts = True
        End If

        ActiveSheet.Name = wsName & "_Row_" & i
        Cells(R, C).Select
        For j = 1 To CCount
            Row1(1, j) = Table1(i, j)
        Next j
        Range(ActiveCell, ActiveCell.Offset(0, CCount - 1)) = Row1()
    Next i
    GoTo EndItAll

    MsgBox ("Error in Routine Transpose3D.")

    Application.DisplayAlerts = True
End Sub
Function SheetExists(SheetName As String) As Boolean
    Dim ws As Worksheet
    SheetExists = False
    For Each ws In ThisWorkbook.Worksheets
        If ws.Name = SheetName Then
            SheetExists = True
            Exit For
        End If
    Next ws
End Function

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11245) 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: Three-Dimensional Transpositions.

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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