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Moving columns in Excel means changing the order of columns to make the data look organized and easy to understand. For example, when an accountant wants to compare the company’s income and expenses, they move the income and expense columns together for easier comparison.
Individuals who frequently use Excel often need to rearrange data, including swapping columns in databases. While comparing them side by side is an option, using an Excel shortcut to move columns when working with huge databases is more convenient. Fortunately, there are multiple methods by which we can do this. This article will provide detailed explanations and examples for each of these methods.Table of Contents How to Move Columns in Excel
In this article, we have provided a detailed explanation on how to move single and multiple columns in Excel using examples.
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You can download this Move Columns Excel Template here – Move Columns Excel TemplateMethod #1: Drag-and-Drop
Consider the below data of Product List, Sold Units, and Product ID data. If you look at the data structure closely, the Product ID should ideally be after the Product List. So we need to move the Product ID column to the left side of the Units Sold column.
Step 2: Move the mouse pointer to the left side border of column C. A four-sided arrow appears, as shown below.
Note: The four-sided arrow should appear as a single arrow.
Step 4: Now, move the entire column in Excel to the desired location, i.e., Column B.
You will notice a green-colored straight line when you try to drag. Just release the left mouse button and the shift key to drop the column to the desired location.
Result: The Product ID column data shifted from Column C to Column B.Method #2: Insert Cut Cells
Let’s consider the same data from the previous example.
Step 1: Select the entire “Product ID” column along with the header.
Step 3: Now, select column B.
Result: We have successfully moved the Product ID column after the Product column.
Note: You can follow the same procedure to move rows to desired locations.Method #3: Move Multiple Columns in Excel
Consider the below data of various products sold between January to June. However, the data columns are not in proper order. We need to rearrange the columns so that the columns for January and February come before the March column.
We will move columns using the drag-and-drop method.
Step 2: Press and hold the shift key and the left mouse button. Then, drag the columns to the border between columns B and C.
Note: Release the mouse button and the shift key when the green line appears at the desired location.
Result: January and February data is moved to the new location, i.e., columns C & D, as shown below.Method #4: Data Sort
In the above example, we have moved adjacent columns. But what if you want to move columns that are not adjacent? For that, you can use the Data Sort method.
Let’s consider the data used in the above example.
The first step before applying this method is to add a new row at the top of the table.
Step 2: Now, we need to add the numbers in the new row. The number indicates the position of each column in the table.
For example, if you want January data in the third column, then enter 3 in Cell D1.
Step 3: After entering the numbers in the first row as per the order you need, select the entire data.
Step 4: In the “Data” tab, select “Sort” under “Sort & Filter”.
Step 5: Select “Options”, as shown below.
Select “Row 1” in the “Sort by”
Select “Cell Values” in the “Sort On” menu.
Select “Smallest to Largest” in the “Others”.
The data is sorted from smallest to largest number, as shown below.
Step 8: Now, you can delete the first row.
Result: We have successfully sorted the data in the correct order.
Remember: Excel doesn’t allow moving columns with
Excel doesn’t allow moving columns with merged cells . You must first unmerge the cellsFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: When you use the copy-and-paste method to move columns in Excel, Excel will delete the original column’s data and then add the copied data column. For instance, if you copy data from column A and paste it into column C, the data from column A will replace the existing data in column C. This way, we can lose information if we use the copy-and-paste method.
Answer: For moving columns in Google Sheets, you cannot use the same methods as we did for moving single and multiple columns in Excel. The three methods to move columns in sheets are:
Move Left/Move Right
Cut, Insert, Paste, Delete
Note that the drag-and-drop for Excel and google sheets have different steps.
Answer: Yes, whenever you move single or multiple columns in Excel, there are no changes in the formatting of the particular columns.Recommended Articles
This article is a step-by-step guide on how to move columns in Excel. Here we discuss how to move columns around in Excel using Drag-and-Drop, Insert Cut Cells, and Data Sort methods. You may also refer to the below articles in Excel for a better understanding:–
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