How to Insert a Row or Column in an Excel Spreadsheet

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Excel provides a couple of ways to insert rows and columns, including keyboard shortcuts and Insert commands. Before you add a new row or column, it's important to understand where Excel positions these insertions, as this affects the row or column you select to place a new one. For example:

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  • A new row always inserts above the row you select.
  • A new column always inserts to the left of the column you select.

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Use a Keyboard Command

Excel has a keyboard command that allows you to add a row or column to a worksheet. Select the number at the beginning of the row or the letter of the top of the column to highlight it. Hold down the Ctrl key and press the + key on the number keypad.

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Use the Insert Button

Add a Row

Select the number of the row in the worksheet that appears above where you'll insert the new row. This highlights the entire row.

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Image Credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Open the Home tab and select the Insert button in the Cells area. Or, select the arrow on the Insert button and select Insert Sheet Rows.

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Image Credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

The new row inserts, and the row numbers reorder.

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Add a Column

Select the letter of the column to the right of the position where you will insert the new column. This highlights the entire column.

Image Credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

On the Home tab, select the Insert button. Or, select the arrow on the Insert button and use Insert Sheet Columns.

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Image Credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

The new column appears, and the column letters reorder.

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Add a Row or Column From a Cell

Excel also allows you to insert a row or column from a cell in the worksheet. Select the cell above where you want the new row to go, or any cell in the column to the right of a new column's location. Right-click the cell to open the Cell Context Menu. Select Insert.

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Image Credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

Check the Entire Row or Entire Column button and select OK to add the new row or column.

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Image Credit: Image courtesy Microsoft

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