Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Insert a New Row or Column - Excel Keyboard Shortcut

Lately, I have been trying to use as many Excel keyboard shortcuts as I can (not only for productivity, but for ergonomic reasons). There is a quick two-step process that is very convenient for inserting or deleting a row or column:

  1. Select the current row: Shift+SpaceBar
  2. Insert a row (above the currently selected row): Ctrl+"+"
To insert a new column, in Step 1 use Ctrl+SpaceBar to select the current column.

To delete a row (or column) after it is selected, press Ctrl+"-"

It's easy to remember these because Ctrl is pretty much the most powerful key there is and "+" and "-" make sense for adding and deleting. A trick for remembering which shortcut to use for selecting the row or column is the mnemonic that both "Ctrl" and "Column" start with "C". Remembering the SpaceBar is easy because the SpaceBar is a long key, so it can easily represent a row or column.

To insert more than one row or column at a time, use the Arrow Keys as you hold Shift before going to step 2. You can also just hold down Ctrl+Shift as you repeating hit the "+" key, or hold down Ctrl as you repeatedly hit the "-" key.

[Updated 12/18/2012] (thank you to those who have commented)

58 comments :

Randy said...

Why not just use the keyboard shortcuts for the menu options to insert rows and columns? That is:

Alt-i, r = insert row
Alt-i, c = insert column

If you want to repeat and do more of each, you could just hit F4.

Anonymous said...

That was very helpful! Thanks

Anonymous said...

That was amazingly helpful, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Excellent shortcut....easy to learn and implement

Anonymous said...

I simply use Ctrl + '+'

Zizo said...

helpful shortcuts, specially the row/column selection

JobbyJob said...

How about Insert cut cells. This was a handy Excel 2003 feature which no longer seems to be found in Excel 2007?

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much. I tried Randy's suggestion and it didn't work but yours did and I'll be using it in future. Thanks again

Anonymous said...

Randy's way works the best and fastest. Especially with the F4. It might only be for excel 2007

Anonymous said...

ctrl+shift+'+' is not happening.
please suggest

Anonymous said...

for 2007 users, just hit this (not at the same time, but sequential): alt, h, i, r

I found ctrl+shift+i annoying as it gives me a popup where I keep selecting the same value before the row gets inserted. alt 'hir' is very fast.

ijopson said...

Thanks whoever said the F4 comment!

kishor said...

Hey Guys,

This is Kishor

You can just hold insert key and press enter (insert+enter)

Thanks

MGB said...

Great suggestions (CTRL +, then use F4 thereafter) will make at least one life easier :)

for excel 2003 at least

MGB

Anonymous said...

Randy ... thanks SO much. Your comment was VERY helpful!

sammi said...

thanks very much

MOHSIN said...

Thanks Buddy........

Anonymous said...

THANKS

Anonymous said...

CTRL+ 'keypad +' will insert a cut row.

Anonymous said...

Jon Wittwer, I've been looking for this shortcut for so long. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Add macro with

Selection.EntireRow.Insert

and associate whatever shortcut you want for it. If you select a vertical range of let say 5 cells then 5 rows will be inserted at once - otherwise only one row gets inserted. The only drawback is that for mocros Ctrl-Z (undo) do not work.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I found here to do the undo for macro if you need it:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/339228/building-undo-into-an-excel-vba-macro

Antonio said...

thanks it very helpful

Money said...

Thanks a Lot Randy for the Alt i and r and F4 Key.... Made my life a bit easier... Thanks again

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys.

Anonymous said...

Thank You

anu_birthare said...

As per my view, Randy's comment is more efficient here..Keep it up Randy..Wish you a good-work for future.

Anonymous said...

HOLY USEFUL, BATMAN!!
Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

alt 'hir' is useful in Excel 2007

Anonymous said...

Ctrl+Shift+PlusSign = Insert row(s)

this is not working to insert coloumn
somebody plss help

badri said...

Hey for fast use key board users...
Row
shift and space --> ctrl and +

Colum
Ctrl and space --> Ctrl and +

Anonymous said...

Use ctrl+'+'. Not "Ctrl+Shift+PlusSign"

Anonymous said...

thanks for the ctrl and + to insert row and column..its very useful =)

kannankrp said...

Very nice useful... Thanks

Regards,

Kannankrp

Zobayeda from CSE-LAB said...

Hii..its not working ..ctrl+shift+plus

I am uising ms excel 2003

need help....

LALA said...

THANKS RANDY. NICE ONE 4M U

Gretish said...

Good shortcut randy. thank you i was fed up while inserting the rows..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shortcuts, very helpful.

Anonymous said...

very help full

Khaki Pant Painting said...

This is going to save tons of time. It has been such a burden to right click all the time. The comment about Ctrl shift and plus on the number pad is a huge time saver also.

Thanks,
Khaki Pant Painter

Anonymous said...

thanks u....

Prenom Garcon said...

Super Helpfull! Thanks Buddy!

nongpimmy said...

This is really helpful,the first comment are also really help.
Thanks ;)

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot guys:)..really helpful ..:) made it easy... :) thumbs up:)

Funcion Buscarv en Excel said...

Excellent tip. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Simply use following:-
Add row :- Ctrl + '+'
Delete added row :- Ctrl + '-'

Same thing for columns also.

Rahul said...

Here is the summary:

Add New Column
1. First Select Current Column Ctrl+Spacebar
2. Add New Column Ctrl+’+’

Add New Row
1. Select Current Row Shift+Spacebar
2. Add New Row Ctrl+’-’

Ctrl+’-’ Remove rows or columns

Ctrl + ‘*’ Select everything in a spreadsheet (up until a blank row/column is found)

Anonymous said...

@RANDY HOW TO REMOVE COLUMN OR ROW IF IT IS APPLIED ACCORDING TO RANDY SHORTKEYS?

Anonymous said...

Awesome... thanks!! that was very useful

Ummi said...

Not working in 2007

Stacey Vermaak said...

F4 is the business

David Ringstrom said...

In Excel 2007 and later, you can cut two steps down to 1 by way of the Quick Access Toolbar. Choose More Commands from the menu at the end of the QAT, and add Insert Sheet Rows and Insert Sheet Columns to the QAT. Each icon on the QAT gains a numeric shortcut, so if you make these icons be the first and second on the QAT, the shortcuts become Alt-1 and Alt-2, respectively for inserting rows and columns.

Anonymous said...

You are a nerd, but we had a good a good laugh!!!

Anonymous said...

That was very helpful, Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I am a software tester. Searched for "inset row" and "delete row" with keys. Got the answer!! Cheers admin.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou sir

Elle G said...

CTL ++ OK now that is sweet..
Thanks so much