Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on June 20, 2018

The transpose function allows you to convert a vertical range to a horizontal range, or vice versa.

A vertical range is a range with values in one column, a horizontal range has values in one row.

You can also transpose a range with more than one column and one row.

Array formula in cell D2:H2:


Range B2:B6 has 1 column and 5 rows and it is a vertical range. Use the TRANSPOSE function to convert it to a horizontal range. Shown in the example above.

Excel Function Syntax



array The values you want to transpose.

=TRANSPOSE(B2:B6) is entered in cell range D2:H2, as an array formula.

How to enter an array formula

  1. Select cell range D2:H2.
  2. Click in formula bar
  3. Type: =TRANSPOSE(B2:B6)
  4. Press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously
  5. Press Enter once
  6. Release CTRL + SHIFT

If you did this right the formula now begins and ends with a curly bracket. Like this: {=TRANSPOSE(B2:B6)} Don't enter these yourself.

Why do I have to enter this function as an array formula? It returns more than one value, if you want to see all values you need to enter it as an array formula.

What happens if you transpose a range with the same number of columns and rows?

transpose function1

The picture shows what happens if you transpose a cell range with the same number of rows and columns, in this case a cell range with 3 columns and 3 rows. The range size doesn't change but the numbers in the range change positions.

The values in the first column (B2:B4) is converted into the first row (F2:H2), the same with the second column (C2:C4) into the second row (F3:H3) and so on.

Converting a vertical cell range to constants

This animated picture shows how to convert the values in a cell range to constants.

create constants1

What the animated picture doesn't show you is that I am pressing F9 after selecting the cell range B2:B6. These are all the steps:

  1. Select cell D2
  2. Type =
  3. Select cell range B2:B6
  4. Press F9

The formula bar returns {1;2;3;4;5}. The curly brackets tell you that it is an array. The constants in the array are separated by semicolons. The semicolon tells you that the next value is in the row below. In the example above all values are separated vertically, this is a one dimensional array.

Transpose an array with constants separated vertically

What happens if we transpose this array? {1;2;3;4;5}  Select a cell and type in formula bar: =TRANSPOSE({1;2;3;4;5}) Press F9.

transpose function3

The formula bar shows {1,2,3,4,5}. The comma tells you that the values in the array are separated horizontally.

transpose function6

You can verify this by selecting D2:H2, type =TRANSPOSE({1;2;3;4;5}) in the formula bar and enter it as an array formula.

transpose function4

In other words, the colon tells you that the next value in the array is in the next column. The semicolon tells you that the next value is in the row below.

Two dimensional arrays

Look at this array {1,2,3;4,5,6;7,8,9}. You can now distinguish that this array has 3 columns and 3 rows by looking at the commas and semicolons. The array has values in more than one column and one row. This is a two dimensional array.

I made this array {1,2,3;4,5,6;7,8,9} from cell range B2:D4, it has 3 columns and 3 rows.

transpose function7

Transpose a cell range manually without using a formula

  1. Select a cell range you want to transpose
  2. Copy cells (CTRL + c)
  3. Right click on a destination cell
  4. Click "Paste Special..."
    transpose function5
  5. Click "Transpose"
  6. Click OK button

Note! You may have other delimiting characters, it depends on your regional settings.