Excel Add Columns
Sometimes, you can have your data in a format, with all the rows and columns structured. However, let’s suppose you realize that you forgot to add/insert a column or delete a column. You may also want to hide some rows & columns and, if necessary, be able to unhide them. Moving rows or columns is another task you may want to perform sometime. Excel provides you the option to do all these tasks in your data table. These features become very relevant time & again.
So, the question is, how do we perform these tasks?
How to Add/Insert Columns in Excel?
Suppose, you have the first name & last name data in columns A & B respectively. Suppose you want to insert a middle name. I will show steps for both insertings & deleting below as they are almost similar.
Follow the below steps to get it done:
Firstly, attaching the screenshot for your reference:
Suppose you want to insert a column before Column B.
To do this, on the “Home” tab on the Excel ribbon, in the ‘Cells’ group, you need to click on Insert. A dropdown will appear as soon as you click on that. From that select “Insert Sheet Columns”.
Please keep in mind that, before you click on the “Insert Sheet Columns”, you should be in the cell of a column before which you want to insert a column.
For example, here, we should be in a cell in column B, when we click on “Insert Sheet Columns” as we want to insert a column before column B. You can see below a column is added.
Example #2 – ShortCut & Alternate Options
Now, a general note, about using some shortcuts, here, if you closely see, once you click on “Insert” and the list appears, you will see “Insert Sheet Columns” has its C underlined, that means ‘C’ can be used a keyboard shortcut for it.
So, an alternate option to insert a column will be, clicking on “Insert” and then just press ‘C’ from the keyboard. This should also do it. For inserting rows, it will be clicking on “Insert” and then just press ‘R’ from the keyboard.
An alternate solution for “Inserting Excel Columns” is that you be present in any of the cells of the column before which you want to insert. Then right-click and click on “Insert”.
A dialogue box will appear. Then select “Entire Column” from that dialogue box, if you want to insert a column or select “Entire Row” if you want to insert a row.
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You can see that a column is inserted before the Last Name column.
For this option, the shortcut as we mentioned previously will be pressing ‘c’ from the keyboard and then press enter (after right-clicking from a cell present in a column before which we want to insert and then clicking on insert).
Furthermore, another option is to select the entire column before which you want to insert the column. Then right-click and select “Insert”.
For this option, see that “Insert” has ‘I’ underlined in it. So, the shortcut for it will be to select the relevant column, right-click on it and just press “I”. That should do for inserting an excel column.
Similarly, you can do this for inserting rows, by selecting the entire row before which you want to insert. Then right-click and click “Insert”.
Hide and Unhide Rows & Columns
Select the relevant rows or columns, right-click & then click “Hide”.
For Example, Select the columns which you want to hide, then right-click and select the “Hide” option.
Select the rows which you want to hide, then right-click and select the “Hide” option.
Another option is as shown below, select the relevant rows or columns and follow the screenshot.
Go to Format tab, under the “Hide & Unhide” option, select “Hide columns”.
For unhiding, you need to follow similar steps, except you need to select the rows or columns before & after the rows or columns which you need to unhide. (eg. Here, for unhiding columns B & C, we have selected A & D).
Then similar steps as shown above, except clicking on ‘Hide’, you click on ‘unhide’.
Moving a Row or Column in Excel
Suppose, I want to see the last name column first. See how we do it, explained through a screenshot.
Select the column which you want to move and Cut it.
Then Right-click on the column where you want to paste. You will get an “Insert Cut Cells” option.
Another option is below:
In Insert Cells option, click on “Insert Cut Cells”.
The column will be moved to the selected location, and the columns to the right will shift right.
Inserting & Deleting Rows in Excel
Let’s start with inserting. Suppose, you are interested in inserting a row after Ravi (i.e. Row 2). Then how do we do that?
Select any cell in the row after that i.e. Row 3. Go to the ‘Insert’ option in the ‘Home’ tab & click on ‘Insert Sheet Rows’.
A new row is inserted below row 2.
Now, let’s see about deleting a sheet row. Suppose you are interested in deleting the row that you added in the previous step.
Select any cell in the row after that i.e. Row 3. Go to the ‘Delete’ option in the ‘Home’ tab & click on ‘Delete Sheet Rows’.
You can see that a blank row is deleted.
This has been a guide to Add Columns in Excel. Here we discuss how to add, insert, hide, and move columns in excel along with practical examples. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –