Inserting, copying, moving, or cutting and pasting rows and columns is something we do every day in Excel. And there are loads of ways we can perform these repetitive tasks.
Inserting Rows, Columns and Cells
We can use the icons in the Insert menu on the Home tab:
Or even the keyboard shortcut:
Ctrl+Shift+= (or simply Ctrl++ using the + on the number keypad)
If you have a column selected then Ctrl+Shift+= will insert a column to the left, if you have a row selected Ctrl+Shift+= will insert a row above, or if you have a cell(s) selected Ctrl+Shift+= will open the Insert dialog box so you can choose where to insert the cells:
- Use keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Space to select a whole column
Or Shift+ Space to select a whole row:
- Hold Shift and use your arrow keys to select multiple rows/columns to insert more than one at a time.
We can also use our mouse to insert a row;
- Select the row(s)
- Hold down the Shift key
- Hover your mouse over the fill handle until the mouse displays the double line/arrow symbol below
- Left click and drag down to insert a row (drag up to delete a row)
Tip: This works the same for columns and cells.
Thanks to fellow Excel MVP, Bob Umlas for teaching me that trick. I learnt it in his book; This isn’t Excel it’s Magic.
Deleting Rows, Columns and Cells
Similarly, we can use the Delete Cells icons on the Home tab:
Or the keyboard shortcut:
If you have a cell(s) selected, Ctrl+- will open the Delete dialog box so you can choose how and what you want to delete:
Tip: Select the row(s) or column(s) before clicking Ctrl+- to skip opening the dialog box and delete the entire row(s) or column(s).
Copying and Moving Rows, Columns and Cells
We can easily move rows, columns and cells with our mouse by left clicking and dragging the edge of the cell to a new location.
Hold down Shift while dragging to insert the row, column or cell. Your mouse pointer will change to an arrow and the insert point will be displayed by a thick green line:
Tip: To copy and insert a row, hold down Ctrl + Shift while left clicking and dragging. Your mouse cursor will show a small + symbol beside the arrow:
Share a Shortcut
What’s your favourite Excel shortcut? Share it in the comments below.