How to Pivot Rows Into Columns

By Nina Nixon

If spreadsheet data is for charting purposes, the referencing data set must be set up in a certain way in order for the chart or graph to be displayed correctly. But if the data has already been entered and the columns are where the rows should be, an adjustment must be made that can take hours to perform. However, by using the 'Transpose' method, rows can be pivoted into columns and errors are virtually eliminated. Additional retyping of the same data and other modifications are limited, if not eliminated.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel software, version 2003 or later.

Step 1

Open Excel and copy the rows you want to pivot into columns. To do this, press "SHIFT" and use the right-arrow key to cover the cell range until the last row is covered.

Step 2

Locate the first blank cell where you would like to place the columns and "Right-click."

Step 3

Select "Paste Special" and then check "Transpose."

Step 4

Press "OK" and then verify the data is placed correctly. If not, press the "Undo Typing" key located on the keyboard and redo the process, ensuring that you have highlighted all data in the rows to pivot into columns.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you do not have enough blank cells to pivot your specific rows into columns, you will copy them right over those containing content. To avoid this, count how many rows and columns you will need and make required adjustments before changing positions.

References & Resources