The tutorial shows a few quick ways to flip tables in Excel vertically and horizontally preserving the original formatting and formulas.
Flipping data in Excel sounds like a trivial one-click task, but surprisingly there is no such built-in option. In situations when you need to reverse the data order in a column arranged alphabetically or from smallest to largest, you can obviously use the Excel Sort feature. But how do you flip a column with unsorted data? Or, how do you reverse the order of data in a table horizontally in rows? You will get all answers in a moment.
With just a little creativity, you can work out a handful of different ways to flip a column in Excel: by using inbuilt features, formulas, VBA or special tools. The detailed steps on each method follow below.
The reverse the order of data in a column vertically, perform these steps:
As shown in the screenshot below, this will sort not only the numbers in column B, but also the original items in column A, reversing the order of rows:
Now you can safely delete the helper column since you do not need it any longer.
Tip: How to quickly fill a column with serial numbers
The fastest way to populate a column with a sequence of numbers is by using the Excel AutoFill feature:
That's it! Excel will autofill the column with serial numbers up to the last cell with data in the adjacent column.
The above method also works for reversing the data order in multiple columns:
Sometimes (most often when you select the whole column of numbers prior to sorting) Excel might display the Sort Warning dialog. In this case, check the Expand the selection option, and then click the Sort button.
Another way to flip a column upside down is by using this generic formula:
For our sample data set, the formula goes as follows:
…and reverses column A impeccably:
At the heart of the formula is the INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num]) function, which returns the value of an element in array based on the row and/or column numbers you specify.
In the array, you feed the entire list you want to flip (A2:A7 in this example).
The row number is worked out by the ROWS function. In its simplest form, ROWS(array) returns the number of rows in array. In our formula, it's the clever use of the relative and absolute references that does the "flip column" trick:
In other words, ROWS creates a kind of decrementing counter for INDEX so that it moves from the last item toward the first item.
Tip: How to replace formulas with values
Now that you have two columns of data, you may want to replace formulas with calculated values, and then delete an extra column. For this, copy the formula cells, select the cells where you'd like to paste the values, and press Shift+F10 then V, which is the fastest way to apply Excel's Paste Special > Values option.
For more information, please see How to replace formulas with values in Excel.
If you have some experience with VBA, you can use the following macro to reverse the data order vertically in one or several columns:
You select one or more columns using the mouse, not including the column headers, click OK and get the result in a moment.
To save the macro, be sure to save your file as an Excel macro-enabled workbook.
With the above methods, you can easily reverse the data order in a column or table. But what if you not only wish to flip values, but cell formats too? Additionally, what if some data in your table is formula-driven, and you want to prevent formulas from being broken when flipping columns? In this case, you can use the Flip feature included with our Ultimate Suite for Excel.
Supposing you have a nicely formatted table like shown below, where some columns contain values and some columns have formulas:
You are looking to flip the columns in your table keeping both formatting (grey shading for rows with zero qty.) and correctly calculated formulas. This can be done in two quick steps:
Done! The order of data in the table is reversed, the formatting is kept, and cell references in the formulas are appropriately adjusted:
So far in this tutorial, we have flipped columns upside down. Now, let's look at how to reverse data order horizontally, i.e. flip a table from left to right.
As there is no option to sort rows in Excel, you'll need to first change rows to columns, then sort columns, and then transpose your table back. Here are the detailed steps:
Note. If your source data contains formulas, they may be broken during the transpose operation. In this case, you will have to restore the formulas manually. Or you can use the Flip tool included in our Ultimate Suite and it will adjust all the references for you automatically.
Here is a simple macro that can quickly flip data in your Excel table horizontally:
To add the macro to your Excel workbook, please follow these steps. As soon as you run the macro, the following dialog window will show up, asking you to select a range:
You select the entire table, including the header row, and click OK. In a moment, the data order in rows in reversed:
Similarly to flipping columns, you can use our Ultimate Suite for Excel to reverse the order data in rows. Just select a range of cells you want to flip, go to the Ablebits Data tab > Transform group, and click Flip > Horizontal Flip.
In the Horizontal Flip dialog window, choose the options appropriate for your data set. In this example, we are working with values, so we choose Paste values only and Preserve Formatting:
Click the Flip button, and your table will be reversed from left to right in the blink of an eye.
This is how you flip data in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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