When you use the Microsoft Excel products listed at the bottom of this article, you can use a worksheet formula to covert data that spans multiple rows and columns to a database format (columnar). 

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The following example converts every four rows of data in a column to four columns of data in a single row (similar to a database field and record layout). This is a similar scenario as that which you experience when you open a worksheet or text file that contains data in a mailing label format.


  1. In a new worksheet, type the following data:

    A1: Smith, John
    A2: 111 Pine St.
    A3: San Diego, CA
    A4: (555) 128-549
    A5: Jones, Sue
    A6: 222 Oak Ln.
    A7: New York, NY
    A8: (555) 238-1845
    A9: Anderson, Tom
    A10: 333 Cherry Ave.
    A11: Chicago, IL
    A12: (555) 581-4914

  2. Type the following formula in cell C1:


  3. Fill this formula across to column F, and then down to row 3.

  4. Adjust the column sizes as necessary. Note that the data is now displayed in cells C1 through F3 as follows:

    Smith, John

    111 Pine St.

    San Diego, CA

    (555) 128-549

    Jones, Sue

    222 Oak Ln.

    New York, NY

    (555) 238-1845

    Anderson, Tom

    333 Cherry Ave.

    Chicago, IL

    (555) 581-4914

The formula can be interpreted as

OFFSET($A$1,(ROW()-f_row)*rows_in_set+INT((COLUMN()-f_col)/col_in_set), MOD(COLUMN()-f_col,col_in_set))


  • f_row = row number of this offset formula

  • f_col = column number of this offset formula

  • rows_in_set = number of rows that make one record of data

  • col_in_set = number of columns of data

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