Software

Quickly insert rows and columns into an Excel sheet

Use this easy-to-remember keyboard shortcut to insert rows and columns into your Excel sheets.

Inserting new rows and columns is an easy task. Simply select a row or column and choose Row or Column, respectively, from the Insert menu. Excel will insert a new row above the selected row and a new column to the left of the selected column.

Like most Excel tasks, you don't need your mouse at all. If you prefer, you can get the same results from the keyboard. Simply select a row or column and press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+=. You can delete a row or column just as quickly by pressing [Ctrl]+-. If you change your mind and want to delete a new row or column immediately after inserting it, just press [Ctrl]+Z.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

11 comments
blogs
blogs

Here is a slightly different solution that handles both insertion and removal. Customize the standard tool bar to add four icons: InsertRow & InsertColumn; and DeleteRow & DeleteColumn. To customize the tool bar, right click on the menu bar and select Customize. Go the Commands tab. The icons can be found in the Edit and Insert Categories. Drag each one to the toolbar. This is a sticky change, it doesn't go away with each new document.

dogknees
dogknees

To insert, use Ctrl and the "+" key on the keypad. No good for notebook users, but great for the rest. I also find this easier to remember as Ctrl and the "-" on the key pad is Delete for selected rows/columns. If you want to insert more rows, select more before you hit the keys. ie Select 10 rows and hit Ctrl+ and it'll insert 10 new rows above them. As the selection is maintained, you can just keep hitting Ctrl+ inserting 10 at a time for example. Great when you need to make some space.

djdawson
djdawson

An additional feature of this is that if you select multiple rows or columns then the same number of rows or columns will be inserted.

silent.griffin
silent.griffin

I've been searching for this shortcut key for a while now.

Laurie_G
Laurie_G

This works on several of Excel's toolbar buttons: Holding shift while pressing the button does the opposite. Only add 2 buttons, say, Insert Row, Insert Column. If you want to delete, select the row, column or cell, hold shift & press the appropriate insert (row or column) button. It also works with the Zoom button and others that I rarely use so can't remember!

stapleb
stapleb

All a notebook user has to do is use Ctrl and Shift and then the + at the top of the keyboard. So, they aren't missing out, they just have to use one extra key.

stapleb
stapleb

Use the Ctrl key to select non-contiguous columns or rows and then insert at the desired/required locations.

Matthew Chickoree
Matthew Chickoree

... Use the menu as if you were going to select the option, but instead of clicking the option you want, hover over the desired option and the shortcut keys for that option is displayed.

Laurie_G
Laurie_G

It also works with: Sort File Open Increase decimal places Align left Overall, that reduces 12 buttons down to 6!