How to add or remove a cell, column, or row in Excel

Updated: 02/01/2021 by Computer Hope
Microsoft Excel

Below is information about how to add and remove a cell, column, or row in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Adding a cell

Note

When adding a new cell, data around the cell is moved down or to the right depending on how it's shifted. If there is data in adjacent cells that line up with the selected cell, it becomes unaligned. In some situations, it may be better to add a new column or add a new row instead of a new cell.

To add a new individual cell to an Excel spreadsheet, follow the steps below.

  1. Select the cell of where you want to insert a new cell by clicking the cell once with the mouse.
  2. Right-click the cell of where you want to insert a new cell.
  3. In the right-click menu that appears, select Insert.
  4. Choose either Shift cells right or Shift cells down depending on how you want to affect the data around the cells.

Removing a cell

Note

When removing a cell, data around the cell is moved up or to the left depending on how it's shifted. If there's data in adjacent cells that line up with the selected cell, it becomes unaligned.

To remove a cell from an Excel spreadsheet, follow the steps below.

  1. Right-click the cell you want to remove.
  2. In the pop-up menu that appears, select Delete.
  3. Choose Shift cells left or Shift cells up, depending on how you want to affect the data around the cells.

Adding a row

Excel 2007 and later

  1. Select the cell where you want to add a row. For example, to add a row on the '3' row, select the A3 cell or any other cell in row 3.
  2. On the Home tab in the Ribbon menu, click Insert and select Insert Sheet Rows. You can also right-click the selected cell, select Insert, then select the Entire row option.
Tip

If you want to add multiple rows at once, highlight more than one row, then click Insert and select Insert Sheet Rows. For example, if you wanted to add four rows beginning at row 3, highlight row 3 and the three rows following it. Do this by clicking and dragging your mouse on the number 3, 4, 5, and 6. Then click Insert, and select Insert Sheet Rows.

Excel 2003 and earlier

  1. Select the cell where you want to add a row. For example, to add a row on the '3' row, select the A3 cell or any other cell in row 3.
  2. In the menu bar, click Insert and select Rows. This option won't be available if you're highlighting columns and not rows.
Tip

If you want to add multiple rows at once, highlight more than one row and then click Insert and select Rows. For example, to add four rows beginning at row 3, highlight row 3 and the three rows following it. Do this by clicking and dragging your mouse on the number 3, 4, 5, and 6. Then, click Insert, and select Rows.

Removing a row

Excel 2007 and later

  1. Highlight the row you want to delete.
  2. On the Home tab in the Ribbon menu, click Delete and select Delete Sheet Rows. You can also right-click the highlighted row and select Delete.

Using the steps above, delete the row and move the rows under the deleted row up. If you want to delete the contents of the row, press the Delete key on the keyboard.

Excel 2003 and earlier

  1. Highlight the row you want to delete.
  2. In the menu bar, click Edit and select Delete. You can also right-click with your mouse on the highlighted row and select Delete.

Using the above steps, delete the row and move the rows under the deleted row up. If you want to delete the contents of the row, press the Delete key on the keyboard.

Adding a column

Excel 2007 and later

  1. Select the cell where you want to add a column. For example, to add a column on the 'C' column, select the C1 cell or any other cell in column C.
  2. On the Home tab in the Ribbon menu, click Insert and select Insert Sheet Columns. You can also right-click the selected cell, select Insert, then select the Entire column option.
Tip

If you want to add multiple columns at once, highlight more than one column, click Insert and select Insert Sheet Columns. For example, if you want to add four rows on column C, highlight the C column. Then, additionally highlight the three columns to the right, by clicking and dragging on the C, D, E, and F letters. Alternatively, with column C highlighted, hold Shift and click the F column header. Then click Insert and select Insert Sheet Column.

Excel 2003 and earlier

  1. Select the cell where you want to add a column. For example, to add a column on the 'C' column, select the C1 cell or any other cell in column C.
  2. In the menu bar, click Insert and select Columns. This option is not available if you're highlighting rows and not columns.
Tip

If you want to add multiple columns at once, highlight more than one column, click Insert and select Columns. For example, if you want to add four rows on column C, highlight the C column. Then, additionally highlight the three columns to the right, by clicking and dragging on the C, D, E, and F letters. Alternatively, with column C highlighted, hold Shift and click the F column header. Then click Insert and select Column.

Removing a column

Excel 2007 and later

  1. Highlight the column or columns you want to delete.
  2. On the Home tab in the Ribbon menu, click Delete and select Delete Sheet Columns. You can also right-click the highlighted column and select Delete.

Using the steps above, delete the column and move the columns to the right over to the left. If you want to delete the contents of the column, press the Delete key on the keyboard.

Excel 2003 and earlier

  1. Highlight the column or columns you want to delete.
  2. In the menu bar, click Edit and select Delete. You can also right-click with your mouse on the highlighted column and select Delete.

Using the steps above, delete the column and move the columns to the right over to the left. If you want to delete the contents of the column, press the Delete key on the keyboard.