Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moving Column's & Rows in Excel 2010

Ever wanted to move an entire column or row of data in an excel spreadsheet without over-writing data in another column or row?  Well, you can!   And here's how!

Open your excel spreadsheet. I'm assuming you have some columns (or rows) set up already with data in them.

Let's say you'd like to move Column O and place it before Column N.  To do this, you need to highlight column O first by single left-clicking on the column header (on "O" in this case).  The example shows the column already highlighted.

Next, hold down the SHIFT key and move your mouse over the line between column N and O.  When you do, your mouse cursor will change to a cross like that shown on red in the example.

Note that your cross will NOT be red or even this big.  It will be small and black.  I only made it red and bigger in this example so you could see it better. 

When you see the cross, left click it (you must still be holding the shift key down when you click it) and then drag the column where you want and let go of the mouse.  If done properly, it should have been inserted between other columns where you specified. 

If it didn't work, a mistake was made during the process.  Here's a list of common mistakes:
  1. The shift key wasn't held down throughout the process
  2. The column or row wasn't grabbed in the right spot  (note you can't grab the column or row from the header, you must move farther down in the row of column to grab it).  If you move your mouse on the line between the rows or column, your mouse will look different if you do it on cells than if you did it on the headers. 
  3. The mouse was released in the wrong spot (so the column didn't go where you wanted it to).  
When working with real data, keep in mind that if you make a mistake, you can always stop and hit the UNDO arrow at the top of the page and try again.