To sort a table in Excel or align the columns and rows, you often need to move those columns and rows. In this guide we show you the best way to do it. We present two options with which you can move columns and rows in Excel effortlessly and without formula or format errors in the corresponding cells..
Moving one or more columns in Excel does not require the effort required by the copy and paste function . Since this function, which is normally very practical, carries a great risk of the column formulas being formatted. Also, it is a time-consuming method.
One of the most reliable and simple alternatives is drag and drop . Only condition: you must not have related cells that are outside the selected area..
First of all, select the column or columns you want to move. To do this, left click on the column header to select the entire column. You can also click on any cell in the desired column and select the entire column with the key combination [Ctrl] + [Space].
In the next step, move the mouse to the left or right side edge of the selected column, until the mouse cursor turns into an arrow cross or a hand symbol (depending on the version of Excel you use) .
Now, hold down the [Shift] key together with the left mouse button and drag the selected column (s) to the desired place using drag and drop . The new duty station is marked in color or by a dashed line..
When you've reached the right place, release the mouse key and hold the [Shift] key. The Excel column will move to the desired position. If there is already a column with content at that point, this column automatically scrolls to the right or left.
As an alternative to the copy and paste option , you can make use of the cut and paste option . The usual key combination is [Ctrl] + [X] to cut and [Ctrl] + [+] to paste. Before you just have to select the desired column, either by clicking on the column header or using [Ctrl] + [Space]. Then select the desired target position and paste the column with [Ctrl] + [+] .
The more common Ctrl + V key combination also works for pasting trimmed columns, but this can cause changes to the column or row format. Therefore, the plus symbol key is a safer option in this case.
Excel's procedure for moving columns can also be applied to moving rows.
Select the row or row area you want to move. In this context, you can left-click on the row margin numbering (row header ) to select the entire row. You can also click on any cell in the desired row and select the entire row with the key combination [Ctrl] + [Shift] .
Now, move the mouse to the top or bottom edge of the selected row, until the cursor turns into a cross of arrows or a hand .
Hold down the [Shift] key together with the left mouse button and drag the row to the desired location using drag and drop .
Release the mouse button and the [Shift] key: now the row is in the desired place.
With rows you can also use the cut and paste function . Once you have selected the row by clicking on the header or [Ctrl] + [Shift] , hit the key combination [Ctrl] + [X] to cut. Then select the desired position and paste the row with [Ctrl] + [+] .
You can find more practical tips for Excel in the following articles:
- Create drop down menus in Excel
- Useful shortcuts in Excel
- Transpose in Excel
- Create tables in Excel
- Delete empty rows in Excel