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Excel 2003: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Adding and Moving Columns or Rows

The cut-and-paste and copy-and-paste operations let you move data from one cell (or group of cells) to another. But what happens if you want to make some major changes to your worksheet itself? For example, imagine you have a spreadsheet with 10 filled columns (A to J) and you decide you want to add a new column between columns C and D. You could cut all the columns from D to J, and then paste them starting at E. That would solve the problem, and leave the C column free for your new data. But the actual task of selecting these columns can be a little awkward, and it only becomes more difficult as your spreadsheet grows in size.

A much easier option is to use two dedicated Excel commands designed for inserting new columns and rows into an existing spreadsheet. If you use these features, you won't need to disturb your existing cells at all.

Inserting Columns

To insert a new column, follow these steps:

  1. Select the column immediately to the right of where you want to place the new column.

    That means that if you want to insert a new, blank column between columns A and B, start by selecting the existing column B. Remember, you select a column by clicking the column header.

  2. Choose Insert Columns.

    Excel inserts a new column, and automatically moves all the columns to the right of column A (so column B becomes column C, column C becomes column D, and so on).

Inserting Rows

Inserting rows is just as easy as inserting new columns. Just follow these steps:

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