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For Seniors: How to Insert and Delete Rows and Columns in an Excel Worksheet

Even if you’re a careful planner, you’ll likely decide that you want to change your Excel worksheet’s layout. Maybe you want data in a different column in your worksheet (also known as a spreadsheet), or certain rows turn out to be unnecessary. Excel makes inserting and deleting rows and columns easy.

Inserting a row or column

To insert a row or column:

  1. Select the row above or the column to the right of where the insertion should occur. Or click in any cell in that row or column.

  2. Choose Home→Cells and click the arrow to the right of the Insert button to open the drop-down list for the Insert button.

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  3. From the menu, choose Insert Sheet Rows or Insert Sheet Columns.

Here’s another way to insert: from the right-click (contextual) menu:

  1. Select a row or column adjacent to where the insertion should occur.

  2. Right-click the selection and choose Insert from the menu that appears.

    Excel inserts either a row or a column, whichever you select in Step 1.

To insert multiple rows or columns at once, select a corresponding number of contiguous rows or columns in Step 1 in the preceding step list. For example, if you select three columns, you get three new blank columns when you choose Insert.

Deleting a row or column

Deleting a row or column works in a similar way:

  1. Select the row(s) or column(s) you want to delete.

  2. Choose Home→Cells→Delete.

The Delete button has a drop-down list, just like the Insert button does. From it, you can choose what you wanted to delete: cells, rows, or columns. However, in Step 1, you select what you want to delete, so that isn’t necessary in this case; you can simply click the button to delete what was selected.

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