Excel Basics: Inserting or Deleting Columns and Rows

Excel Basics: Inserting or Deleting Columns and Rows


So, you’ve created a catalog of data on your computer but you realize you need to make modifications by adding or removing information. Not a problem, Excel has you covered. Below is a simple list of movies.

In this list, I have a column for DVDs and VHSs but nothing for Blu-ray. I will show you how to insert a new column for the Blu-ray movies.

  1. Highlight the column to the right of where you want to add your new column by clicking on the letter at the top of the column (column A see red arrow).
  2. Click on Insert in the menu bar (see green circle) and the insertion will happen immediately on the left of, in this case, column A. The new column will become column A and the other columns will move to the right.
  3. Add your heading (Blu-ray). Now you can fill in the Xs for the movies you have in Blu-ray.
  4. Note: when you do this insertion, the new column will always insert to the left of the highlighted column.


For inserting a new row, it is very similar but you need to remember when you are inserting a row you should highlight the row below were you want the new row. I n the movie list above ‘Doctor Doolittle’ is out of order. You could just sort the list but if you have a long list and one new entry you can simply insert a new blank line and type it in or add to the bottom pf your list as in the figure insert and copy and paste.


  1. Highlight row 13 with the ‘Doctor Doolittle’ information (orange arrow).
  2. Go to the ‘cut’ symbol, a pair of scissors, in the menu box (see yellow circle). Click on the scissors. A moving dotted line will now outline the row.
  3. Highlight row 6 by clicking on the 6 at the beginning of the row (blue arrow).
  4. Click on insert in the menu bar, the ‘Doctor Doolittle’ information should appear above ‘Down Periscope’ becoming the new row 6 and moving the other rows down.

You have just moved ‘Doctor Doolittle’ from row 13 to row 6. Deleting is just as simple.


To delete a row or column completely just highlight the row or column by clicking on the row number or column letter you wish to delete and click on delete in the menu bar which is below insert. The row or column should disappear with rows below moving up and columns moving to the right.


If you just want to delete the data in a row or column but leave the blank row or column in place highlight the desired row or column and hit the delete button in the upper right of your keyboard. The data in the row or column will disappear but the blank row or column will remain in that slot. This might be beneficial when you want to replace the row or column with a different set of data in that slot.


Excel is a program that is easy to master with a little time and work exploring. Microsoft offers a lot of free help online that is easy to access. Have fun exploring Excel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *