Time-Saving Methods to Resize, Insert and Delete Rows and Columns in Excel

AUTHOR:  JASON MORRELL 

Jason Morrell

In this post you'll discover three essential skills that you'll need as you start developing your own spreadsheets.

1.  How to resize your row(s) or column(s).

2.  How to insert additional row(s) or column(s).

3.  How to delete row(s) or column(s) that are no longer needed.

1. Resize one row or one column

There are a number of ways to resize a row or column.

METHOD 1 – Resize by value

1.  Right-click the grey block showing the column label or row label (e.g. A, B, C, 1, 2, 3 etc. then select Column Width.

2.  In the dialog, enter your column width and click OK

Resize a row or column by value

METHOD 2 – Resize by click-and-drag

1.  Move the mouse pointer over the division between two column or row selectors. The pointer will change to a black cross with arrowheads.

2.  Click and drag to the appropriate size. The height or width value appears in a screen tip.

Resize a row or column by drag-and-drop

METHOD 3 – Resize to Best Fit

1.  Move the mouse pointer over the division between two column or row selectors, then double-click. This resizes to the widest contents of the column or the tallest contents of a row.

If you see ####### in your cell, it is not an error. It just means that the column is not wide enough. Widen the column and the hashes disappear.

2. Resize multiple rows or multiple columns

To resize two or more rows / columns simultaneously, rather than one at a time:

1.  Highlight all rows or columns to be resized.

2.  Click and drag the divider between any of your selected rows or columns as described above. This sets all the rows to the same height or all the columns to the same width, or ….

… double-click the divider between any of your selected rows or columns as described above. This best-fits each individual column or row.

3. Insert extra row(s) or column(s)

To insert one row / column:

1.  Place the cursor in a cell or select a row or column.

2.  Select the Home tab, if necessary.

3.  In the Cells group, click the Insert icon (pictured right).

4.  Choose Insert Sheet Rows or Insert Sheet Columns, as appropriate.

A new row is placed above the current row.
A new column is placed to the left of the current column.

Insert extra row(s) or column(s)

To insert more than one row or column in one hit:

1.  Select the number of rows or columns you want to insert.

2.  Choose the Insert icon, as described previously.

4. Delete row(s) or column(s)

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

2.  Right-click any selected cell and choose Delete,
or click the Delete icon on the Home ribbon.

5. Key Takeaways

  • To insert a row or column, right-click on the row/column selector and choose Insert, or choose Insert from the Home ribbon.
  • To delete a row or column, right-click on the row/column selector and choose Delete, or choose Delete from the Home ribbon.
  • To resize a row or column, position the mouse pointer between two row/column selectors and either click-and-drag to manually resize or double-click to best fit.

Please feel free to post any questions you have into the comments below. And before you leave this page, I want to give you one quick little action item! 

ACTION ITEM: Comment below with ONE thing you picked up from this post and share how it has helped, or will help, you. It's good to share your successes because it encourages others and provides an instant boost.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell


Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

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