Inserting Cells, Rows, or Columns in Excel 2010

By Greg Harvey

If you need to add new data within an existing Excel 2010 worksheet, you can insert new cells, columns, or rows in the worksheet rather than going through all the trouble of moving and rearranging several individual cell ranges.

To insert new cells, rows, or columns in an Excel worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells, rows, or columns where you want the new, blank cells to appear.

  2. Click the drop-down arrow attached to the Insert button in the Cells group of the Home tab.

  3. Click Insert Cells on the drop-down menu.

    The Insert dialog box opens with the following options:

    • Shift Cells Right shifts existing cells to the right to make room for the blank cells you want to insert.

    • Shift Cells Down instructs Excel to shift existing cells down. This is the default option.

    • Entire Row inserts complete rows in the cell range. You can also select the row number on the frame before you choose the Insert command.

    • Entire Column inserts complete columns in the cell range. You can also select the column letter on the frame before you choose the Insert command.


To quickly insert an entire column or row into the worksheet, you can right-click the column letter or row number on the worksheet window frame and then select Insert from the shortcut menu (or choose Insert Sheet Rows or Insert Sheet Columns from the Insert button’s menu).

Keep in mind that inserting entire columns and rows affects the entire worksheet, not just the part you see. If you don’t know what’s out in the hinterlands of the worksheet, you can’t be sure how the insertion will impact stuff (especially formulas) in the other unseen areas.