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Using one-dimensional and two-dimensional transpositions

From: Cleaning Up Your Excel 2010 Data

Video: Using one-dimensional and two-dimensional transpositions

The column-row layout of some ranges of data isn't always the way you want to see the data. Sometimes you like to see it a little differently, and you want to be able to manipulate the data without having to ask the originator of it to retype it or recreate it. You can transpose row-column layouts into column-row layouts, and it's pretty easy. And sometimes maybe you're just experimenting. You don't know if it's going to look better. Maybe this list of names here makes sense considering we have only six names, but we are going to add some more names to the list. And the more you think about it, you realize, as we add more names, adjust those columns, and so on, at some point we might have to scroll back and forth to see all this information.

Using one-dimensional and two-dimensional transpositions

The column-row layout of some ranges of data isn't always the way you want to see the data. Sometimes you like to see it a little differently, and you want to be able to manipulate the data without having to ask the originator of it to retype it or recreate it. You can transpose row-column layouts into column-row layouts, and it's pretty easy. And sometimes maybe you're just experimenting. You don't know if it's going to look better. Maybe this list of names here makes sense considering we have only six names, but we are going to add some more names to the list. And the more you think about it, you realize, as we add more names, adjust those columns, and so on, at some point we might have to scroll back and forth to see all this information.

So what if we took this information and somehow could imagine say, Employee Name over here somewhere, and then right below it, Gary Trevino, and Nate Ramsey, and so on. In other words, take this data and somehow rotate it so that the data across row 1 is in a column, and the data down here is in a row. We can do this with Transpose. Highlight the data in question. Copy it. It will be right-click > Copy, Ctrl+C, whatever. Go to a different location and envision how this will look when it's rotated, so you don't want to be overlapping any data.

So, for example, here I'll just click in column J, right-click, and it's called Transpose. You can get there by way of Paste Special, do it that way, or here's an icon right here. And if you're using Excel 2007, you'll probably want to do a right-click and Paste Special. Then choose Transpose, and we can see it off there to the right. Now I might want to zoom back a little bit, so we can see both of these together. I think you can see pretty quickly what's happened, a quick adjustment of the column widths here. And maybe this layout will be better if we plan on adding more names.

There is not a question of right or wrong; it's a question of preferences. This is more of a database-type list that's probably more typical. Now, if the data comes to you like this and you want to make it look the way we see the data that we originally had transposed, if we transpose this, it will simply look like the data we see over here. So at different times, it's not a bad idea to do this. Sometimes you're just experimenting to see what it looks like. It certainly can be done with data in a single column or row.

If you want this data across the top of the screen, or across a row somewhere, same idea. This time it's only a single column, it makes no difference. Right-click > Copy. Right-click somewhere else. This time maybe we'll do Paste Special just to remind you that it's out there too. Transpose. Click OK. So, good, fast, easy ways to switch data from a row-column layout into a column-row layout.

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Cleaning Up Your Excel 2010 Data

24 video lessons · 16488 viewers

Dennis Taylor
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