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Microsoft Excel is a powerful program that can help you analyze and visualize your data. For best results, your data needs to be in the proper format. If you need to flip the cells in a row or column, it can take a long time to do it manually—instead of re-entering all of your data, use these strategies to flip rows, turn columns into rows, and flip rows.
Flipping Cells in Excel Columns
Reversing the order of cells in a Microsoft Excel column is quite easy, and can be done in just a few steps:
- Add a column next to the column you’d like to flip.
- Fill that column with numbers, starting with 1 and going up to the number of rows in the column you’d like to reverse.
- Select both columns and click Data > Sort. Select the column that you just added and filled with numbers. Select Largest to smallest, and click OK.
Once you’ve done this, the column you wanted flipped will be reversed, and you can delete the column you just created.
If you’re a user of Visual Basic (macros) with Excel, you can use this code to accomplish the same thing. Just select the column you want to flip and run the following 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
Transposing Columns Into Rows (and Vice Versa)
If you have a column of numbers that you want to turn into a row, Microsoft Excel has a very useful function to do just that for you with minimal effort.
- Select the columns you’d like to transpose and hit Ctrl+C or Edit > Copy.
- Click to an open cell and click Edit > Paste Special…
- Select Transpose and hit OK.
Your column has now been turned into a row, with the topmost value placed on the left of the row. To turn a row into a column, you follow the same procedure. You can even transpose a block of data, which will turn the entire selection by 90 degrees.
Flipping Cells in Excel Rows
To flip all of the cells in an Excel row, you need to combine the previous two steps. Because Microsoft Excel doesn’t support sorting rows, you’ll need to first turn the row into a column by using the instructions for transposing above. Once the row has been turned into a column, you can use the instructions for flipping the values in a column.
After you’ve reversed the column, copy and paste it using Paste Special… and Transpose. It’s a rather roundabout way to get it done, but it works!
To do this in a far simpler manner, you can use Visual Basic again. Just run the same macro as above, but replace all of the instances of the word “column” with the word “row.”
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
Flipping Excel Cells Made Easy
If you need to flip the data in a Microsoft Excel column or row, using one of the strategies above can save you a whole lot of time. And if you need to do it on a regular basis, using the Visual Basic macros will save you even more time. Now get out there and flip some data!
Of course, there’s plenty more you can do with Excel. Check out these crazy Excel formulas that do amazing things or review our essential Excel formulas and functions cheat sheet.