How to Convert Data from Wide to Long Format in Excel

Deepanshu Bhalla 18 Comments

This tutorial explains how to convert data from wide to long format in Excel.

Suppose you have data stored in wide format in Excel. You want to reshape it to long format. This may seem like an easy task but it can be challenging if you don't know how to reshape data in Excel.

Sample Data

The table below shows project budgets for three employees, Tom, Dick, and Harry, over a period of six weeks.

Name Dept Project 1/7/2013 1/14/2013 1/21/2013 1/28/2013 2/4/2013 02/11/2013
Tom IT Budget 10 15 17 35 27 18
Dick IT Budget 15 18 21 18 28 13
Harry Acct Budget 7 12 5 33 14 9
Reshape data from wide to long format in Excel
Reshape data from wide to long format
Steps to Convert Data from Wide to Long Format in Excel
  1. Insert a helper column right to column named "Project"
  2. Concatenates "Name", "Dept", "Project" values and specify "|" delimiter between them. For example, =A2&"|"&B2&"|"&C2.

    Helper Column for reshaping data in Excel
  3. Press ALT + D + P shortcut key to activate "Pivot Table and PivotChart Wizard".

    Pivot Table and PivotChart Wizard
  4. Select "Multiple consolidation ranges"
  5. Press Next
  6. Select "I will create the page fields"
  7. Add range selecting the helper column you inserted in the first step along with 6 date columns (total 7 columns excluding first three columns)
  8. Press Next
  9. Go to the last cell of the pivot table
  10. Right click and select Show Details
  11. Use Convert Text to Column wizard by pressing ALT + D + E to separate "Name", "Dept","Project" values.

The output is shown in the image below -

Output: Convert data from wide to long format
Output: Convert data from wide to long format
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About Author:
Deepanshu Bhalla

Deepanshu founded ListenData with a simple objective - Make analytics easy to understand and follow. He has over 10 years of experience in data science. During his tenure, he worked with global clients in various domains like Banking, Insurance, Private Equity, Telecom and HR.

Post Comment 18 Responses to "How to Convert Data from Wide to Long Format in Excel"
  1. This is a simple and working formula. Big thanks for sharing it!

    I wonder if Excel can match two data sets too by a common column? e.g.: data on species abundances with data on species traits.

    Keep on good work Deepanshu Bhalla!

    1. Yes it does; just apply vlookup command.
      Cheers, Sartaj

  2. Really really helpful!!!! Nice jobs!

  3. Awesome!
    Very nice work, needs some explanation to get to know the real engineering behind these commands. For example what it actually does for "Multiple consolidation ranges" etc.
    Still its great as it works.

  4. This worked perfectly and saved me a lot of time. Thank you!

  5. I have followed all the steps for reshaping data from wide to long format in excel but still wont get my data in long format!! Whats the problem?

    1. It's hard to anticipate what went wrong for you. Please save your file on cloud drive and post file location here.

  6. This saved me hours and hours of work! Thank you so much!

  7. Hey How does this work if we have 6 more dates say end date consider the date column in your example as start date. so basically we have 2 sets ( 6 each) of columns.

  8. Alt+D+P is not working in Excel 2016. Please guide in this issue.

  9. long Press Alt and make sure you release d before pressing p

  10. Steps 9-11 does not exist. After step 8 you can only finish creating the table.

  11. Alt + D + P does not work on excel 2016. What would the command name be please?

  12. Still working perfectly, thanks!

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