Word does not have the ability to transpose cells in a table; that is, you cannot use Word to switch the orientation of columns to rows or vice versa. This article describes how to use Microsoft Excel to provide this functionality.
To transpose the rows and columns of your table, follow these steps:
- Open your Word document, select the table, and then click Copy on the Edit menu.
- Start or switch to Microsoft Excel.
- On the Edit menu, click Paste Special. Click Paste, click Text, and then click OK.
- Select the cells that contain the data that you want to transpose.
- On the Edit menu, click Copy.
- Select the upper-left cell of the paste area. Choose a blank area of your Excel worksheet.
- On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
- Click to select the Transpose check box, and then click OK.
This action switches the orientation of data when you paste it. For example, data from the top row of the copied area appears in the left column of the paste area; data from the left column appears in the top row.
NOTE: If you receive an error message that indicates the selection is not valid, your paste area contains data. Make sure you select a blank area on your worksheet.
- Select the cells with the transposed data, and click Copy on the Edit menu.
- Switch to Word, and place your insertion point where you want to paste the table.
- On the Edit menu, click Paste Special. Click Paste, select Formatted Text (RTF), and then click OK.
Before you use the Transpose
command, consider the following:
- Word tables are limited to 63 columns in Word. If your original
table has more than 63 rows and you transpose the rows with the columns, the pasted table is truncated at 63 columns and no warning message appears.
- If your original table contains tabs, Excel converts each tab to a new cell. Any text that follows the tab character is moved to the next adjacent cell. To avoid this problem, replace the tabs with another character--such as the tilde (~)character--that doesn't appear in your document. After you transpose and paste the table back into your Word document, replace the tilde character with a tab.
NOTE: Use this method to replace paragraph mark delimiters.
- If your Word table contains carriage returns, Excel strips the carriage returns and runs your text together with the preceding text.
Article ID: 212031 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 3.0