How to Turn a Row into a Column in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide

Ever found yourself needing to switch up how your data is arranged in Excel? Maybe you’ve got a list of items in a row, but you realize they’d actually be better off in a column, or vice versa. Don’t fret! Turning a row into a column or a column into a row in Excel is a piece of cake with the “Transpose” feature. In just a few clicks, you can reorganize your data without retyping anything. Let’s walk through how to do it.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Turn a Row into a Column in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let me give you a quick rundown of what we’ll be doing. We’re going to use the “Transpose” function in Excel, which allows us to flip the data from rows to columns or columns to rows. This is super handy when you’re working with data that needs to be presented in a different layout.

Step 1: Select and Copy the Row

Click and drag to highlight the cells in the row you want to turn into a column.

Once you’ve selected the cells, right-click and select “Copy” or simply press Ctrl+C on your keyboard. This copies the data to your clipboard, ready to be pasted in its new orientation.

Step 2: Choose the Destination and Paste Special

Right-click on the cell where you want the column to begin.

Select “Paste Special” from the menu that pops up. This brings up a new window with additional pasting options, one of them being “Transpose.”

Step 3: Click the Transpose Checkbox

In the Paste Special window, find the “Transpose” option and check the box.

After clicking the “Transpose” checkbox, go ahead and click “OK.” This pastes the data you copied, but instead of just pasting it as is, Excel flips it so that it now fills a column instead of a row.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your row will magically transform into a column, with all the data in the correct order. The cell where you initially right-clicked to paste will be the first cell in the new column.

Tips: How to Turn a Row into a Column in Excel

  • Save your work before you start. It’s always a good idea to save your Excel file before making changes, just in case something goes wrong.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts. Pressing Ctrl+C to copy and Ctrl+Alt+V to bring up the Paste Special dialog can save you time.
  • Double-check your destination. Make sure the cell you choose to begin your column has enough space below it to accommodate all the data.
  • Keep the original data. If you’re not 100% sure you want to transpose the data, copy it to another part of the spreadsheet first to keep the original layout intact.
  • Remember that formatting might not transfer. When you transpose data, the cell formatting (like color, font, or borders) may not come with it. You might need to reapply formatting after transposing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I transpose data that’s not in a row or column?

Yes, you can transpose any selection of cells, whether it’s a single row, a single column, or a block of cells.

What if I have a formula in my data?

Transposing the data will also transpose the formulas. However, you might need to adjust the cell references in the formulas after transposing.

Does transpose work with merged cells?

Excel does not support transposing merged cells. You’ll need to unmerge them before transposing.

Can I transpose data into a non-adjacent range?

Yes, you can. Just make sure the destination range is empty and big enough to hold the transposed data.

What if I want to transpose multiple rows at once?

You can transpose multiple rows into columns by selecting all the rows you want to transpose and then following the same steps.


  1. Select and copy the data in the row.
  2. Right-click on the destination cell and select “Paste Special.”
  3. Check the “Transpose” option and click “OK.”


Turning a row into a column in Excel is a handy trick to have up your sleeve, especially when you’re dealing with large amounts of data that need to be reorganized. With the transpose function, you can easily flip your data without the need for manual input, saving you time and preventing errors. Remember to take advantage of Excel’s keyboard shortcuts for an even quicker process. And don’t forget to double-check your formulas and formatting once you’ve transposed your data. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel pro or just getting started, mastering small functions like transposing can make your spreadsheet work much more efficient. So the next time you find yourself in a bind, needing to switch up your data layout, just transpose it!

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy