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How to Move Columns in Excel?
One of the important data manipulation techniques in excel we need to master is to move columns position in the data. In this article, we will show you how to move columns in excel from one position to another using two methods – 1) Drag Option & 2) Cut and Paste Option. Let us discuss the two methods in detail –
Method #1 – Excel Move Columns by Using Drag Option
Usually, when we apply the excel formula in the first cell we either copy and paste to remaining cells or we just simply drag the formula cell to other remaining cells. This is where our first hands-on dragging comes into the picture.
A similar approach can be used to move or swap columns from one position to another, remember it is easy told with the word but doing practically could be tricky like chasing a score of 130 in a T20 match on a bowler-friendly pitch.
Oh!! Sorry, I went cricket because of all the World Cup 2019 fever. Ok, lets come back to the spreadsheet field from the cricket field.
For the practical example of moving or swapping columns, I have created the below data.
In an ideal data structure of organizations data of employees should start with Emp ID, Emp Name, and Department.
But in the above example, we have completely the opposite of this, we need to sort this issue by arranging the data in order.
To make the data organized we will show you a simple dragging method but a tricky one.
Step 1: First select the Emp ID column.
Step 2: Now on the selected column at the right side of the selected place a cursor on the column as shown below.
Step 3: As soon as you can see this icon hold on the SHIFT key and hold the left click of the mouse and drag the column to the required column.
In this example we dragging the column from the third position to the first position. So drag till the first column as shown in the below picture.
Step 4: Once you reach the desired column just leave the SHIFT key and left-click of the mouse. Now the current column (Dept) will be moved to the right i.e. now Dept occupies the second column i.e. “B”.
As we can see in the above image Emp ID is the first column and all the other columns moved one position right to the column.
Now select the Emp Name column and drag to first place once again.
Method #2 – Swap Columns by Using Traditional CUT & PASTE Method
You know what we can drag the column by using our traditional CUT, COPY – PASTE method as well.
For this first, we need to select the column that required to swap, so I will select the column EMP ID here.
Now press the shortcut key Ctr + X or right-click on the column and select CUT.
After we cut the column now we need to select the column where we need to insert. In this example, I am selecting the first column.
Now I will right-click on the column and select “Insert Cut Cells”.
As soon as you choose the option “Insert Cut Cell” it will move the current column to the right and newly inserted column occupies the first column spot.
Now select the Emp Name column and press Ctrl + X.
Now select column B.
Right-click and choose “Insert Cut Cell”.
Now we have data organized in order.
Like this, we can move columns in excel from one position to another to change the position and arrange the data in order.
Note: the First option is a quick risky one because if you forget the option of holding the shift key you may lose the data. Though it will intimate you before replacing.
This has been a guide to Move Columns in Excel. Here we learn how to Move or drag Columns in Excel and swap columns by using the CUT & PASTE method and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –