All Excel users, whether beginners or advanced users, often have to modify rows and columns, no matter what they work on. Copying/Pasting, Inserting, Moving, Deleting rows or columns are everyday tasks performed on a regular basis, and we will review in this article all the tips, tricks, and shortcuts there are to editing rows and columns in Excel.

Shortcuts for Selecting Rows/Columns

A quick and effective way to select one or multiple row/column is by using the below keyboard shortcuts

Row and Column Shortcuts 1

  • Ctrl + Space will select the whole column of the active cell


Row and Column Shortcuts 2

  • Shift + Space will select the whole row of the active cell. Clicking on Shift + Arrow keys allows the user to select multiple rows or columns.

Shortcuts for Inserting or Deleting

Menu bar

In the home menu tab, there is an option to insert cells, rows or columns. By default inserting a row will add a blank row above the active cell and inserting a column will add a blank column on the left of the active cell.


When clicking on insert cells, a pop-up window will offer to the user the choice of how to insert the blank cell: either move the cells on the row to the right, shift the cells on the column down, insert a whole column or a whole row.

Similarly, the delete button allows the user to delete a cell, column or row.

Mouse click

The above options are available by right-clicking directly in the spreadsheet. If a row is selected, it will add a blank row above the active one and if a column is selected it will add a blank column on the right of the active one.

A mouse trick to insert a row is to select a column, press Shift, hover over the fill handle (little square at the bottom of a cell) until the mouse becomes a double bar with arrows pointing left and right:. Then click and drag right to insert a row, drag left to delete the row. This also works with rows!

Keyboard shortcut

Clicking on Ctrl + Shift + = will insert a column or row depending on the current selection. If a row is selected, the keyboard shortcut will add a row above and if a column is selected, it will add a column to the left. if neither a whole row or a whole column is selected, the insertion pop-up window will appear (offering the user the shift the cells right, left or add an entire row or column). If multiple lines or columns are selected, the keyboard shortcut will add the same number of rows/column as selected.
To delete a row/column, click on Ctrl and -. Depending on the selection, it will either delete a row, column or display the delete dialog box (offering the option to either shift the cells left or up or delete the entire
row or column)


Copying and Moving

Excel users can easily move a cell or range of cell by selecting the range, hovering over the edge of the selection until the mouse becomes displays the following icon: and dragging it to the desired location.

When moving the selection to the desired location, holding down the Shift key will insert the selection to a new location instead of simply moving it (you will notice a thick green line appearing where the pointer is).

By holding down Ctrl + Shift while clicking and dragging, the user can copy and insert an entire row.

Did you like this article? Want to have more shortcuts handy? Download our Excel Keyboard Shortcuts Cheatsheet using the form below!


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