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Shortcuts for Inserting and Deleting Rows, Columns and Cells Excel Tutorial

Free Online Microsoft Excel Tutorial
Excel 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts

* Selecting Rows and Columns
* Deleting Rows and Columns
* Inserting Rows and Columns
* Resizing Rows and Columns

Part of working smarter and not harder in Excel means becoming a pro at using keyboard shortcuts to insert and delete rows, columns and cells as well as adjust column width and row height.

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Shortcuts for Inserting and Deleting Rows, Columns and Cells Test




* Select Rows and Columns

There is great value to being able to select rows and columns quickly and efficiently.  It may be that you want to apply specific formatting to a selected row or column or that you want to use the status bar to sum or count a column or row of numbers.  With worksheets which contain multiple rows and columns of data, it may sometimes be difficult to ascertain your position on the sheet, in which case selecting the row or column will quickly help you find your place.

1.  To select a column without having to take your hands off the keyboard while entering data, use the shortcut combination Ctrl+Space.

2.  To select a row without having to take your hands off the keyboard while entering data, use the shortcut combination Shift+Space.

You can also use combinations of Ctrl+Shift and pressing the directional arrows to select specific sections of your worksheet.  If you want to select all blank columns at the end of your data (see screenshot below) you can select the first blank column and then press Ctrl+Shift+ the right directional arrow twice to select all columns to the end of the worksheet.  This is handy for hiding blank columns for a more professional looking worksheet.  You can do the same with unused rows.

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Excel Shortcuts for Applying Formats


* Deleting Rows and Columns

In Excel you spend a lot of time inserting and subsequently deleting unnecessary cells, rows and columns.  Keep your worksheets tidy and free from redundant data by using the shortcut selections below.

1.  To quickly delete a row or column, use the shortcuts explained above to select a row or column.

2.  Press Ctrl+Shift+- (minus symbol) on your keyboard.  This will delete the selected row or column.




3.  If you have more specific deletion requirements, you may want to consult the Delete dialogue box.

4.  To launch the Delete dialogue box, select a cell that is positioned in the row or column you wish to delete.

5.  Press Ctrl+-(minus symbol) to launch the Delete dialogue box (see screenshot below) and make a selection from the available options to delete rows or columns and to move unaffected cells up or down.

 Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Deleting Rows and Columns



* Inserting Rows and Columns

Whilst adding data you will often need to insert additional rows and/or columns in the middle of a section in your worksheet.  Excel provides us with shortcuts to do this really quickly and seamlessly.

1.  To insert a row, select the row above which you wish to insert new blank rows.

2.  Press Ctrl+Shift++ (plus symbol).  You can press it repeatedly to insert more rows.




3. To insert a column, select the column to the left of which you wish to insert a new blank column.

4.  Press Ctrl+Shift++ (plus symbol).  You can press it repeatedly to insert more columns.

5.  To launch the Insert menu (see screenshot below) which provides you with more specific options for inserting cells, rows and columns, press Ctrl+Shift++ (plus symbol) without selecting a row or column.

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Inserting Rows and Columns


* Resizing Rows and Columns

There are many ways to resize rows and columns, but if you want to resize these without lifting your hands from the keyboard, read on.

These shortcuts may sound somewhat difficult to remember, but if you do a lot of data entry they are well worth sticking on your computer monitor or some other conspicuous place with a post-it note or some old gum (not recommended!).

1.  To resize the width of a column in order for it to fit the contents [see screenshot below of column width that does not fit contents (columns C and D)] you can use the shortcut combination Alt+oca.

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Resizing Rows and Columns

2. Select the affected columns (for example column C and D in the screenshot above).

3.  Hold down the Alt key and press oca in quick succession.  This will automatically resize the selected column or columns to fit the width of the biggest entry in the column (see resized columns in screenshot below and compare it with the screenshot above).


Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Resizing Rows and Columns

Similarly, you can automatically resize rows to fit their contents:

1.  Select the row or rows you wish to resize.

2.  Press Alt+ora to resize the row height to fit the contents of the row.


You can also resize columns and rows to specific values:

1.  To resize a column to a specific value, position your cursor in the column or select the column or columns you wish to resize.

2.  Press Alt+ocw on your keyboard.  This will launch the Column Width dialogue box (see screenshot below).

 

Microsoft Excel Tutorial - Resizing Rows and Columns

 

3.  Use the dialogue box to enter an exact value for how wide you wish the selected column or columns to be and press OK.

Resizing row height to a specific value, works in exactly the same way as resizing columns to a specific value:

1.  Select the row or rows you wish to resize or position your cursor in the relevant row.

2.  Press Alt+ore on your keyboard.  This will launch the Row Height dialogue box.

3.  Enter an exact value for the height of your rows into this box and press OK.

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Excel Shortcuts for Inserting and Deleting Rows, Columns and Cells Test