How to Move Columns in Excel - Compute Expert

How to Move Columns in Excel


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In this tutorial, you will learn how to move columns in excel completely.

When we work in excel, we might sometimes need to move some columns we have to another position. We might need to do that to get a better view of our data table or their current position is just wrong.

There are several methods we can use to move columns in excel. Want to know what are they and how to implement them correctly? Read this tutorial until its last part!

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How to Move Columns in Excel 1: Shift Button and Drag

Now, let us see how to move columns in excel by using the first method. This method involves the utilization of the Shift button on our keyboard.

  1. Highlight the column you want to move by clicking on its letter note on the top. If you want to move multiple adjacent columns, click and drag on their letter notes until all of the columns have been highlighted

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1, Shift Button and Drag Method

  2. Move your pointer to the right/left edge of the columns you highlight until your pointer changes form into its drag icon

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2, Shift Button and Drag Method

  3. Press and hold the Shift button on your keyboard while clicking and dragging the highlighted columns into the position you want

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3, Shift Button and Drag Method

  4. Release the drag when your pointer is already on your preferred position of your columns
  5. Done!

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3, Shift Button and Drag Method




How to Move Columns in Excel 2: Cut & Paste

Another method you can use is by using cut and paste. Here are the steps to implement the method.

  1. Highlight the column you want to move by clicking on its letter note on the top. If you want to move multiple adjacent columns, click and drag on their letter notes until all of the columns have been highlighted

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1, Cut & Paste Method

  2. Right-click on the columns you highlight and choose Cut (or just press Ctrl + X (Command + X on Mac) buttons)

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2, Cut & Paste Method

  3. Highlight the column on the right of where you want to move your columns

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3, Cut & Paste Method

  4. Right-click on the column you highlight and choose Insert Cut Cells

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 4, Cut & Paste Method

  5. Done!

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 5, Cut & Paste Method



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How to Move Columns in Excel 3: Sort

You can also use the sort feature in excel to move your columns. This method is probably the most efficient one if you need to rearrange the position of many non-adjacent columns at once.

  1. Highlight the top row of your data table by clicking on its number note on the left

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1, Sort Method

  2. Right-click on the highlighted row and select Insert

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2, Sort Method

  3. In the new row, input the new order you want for each column in your data table

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3, Sort Method

  4. Highlight your data table including the new row with the order of the columns by clicking and dragging across them

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 4, Sort Method

  5. Go to the Home tab in your ribbon, click the Sort & Filter button, and choose Custom Sort… from the choices displayed

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 5, Sort Method

  6. In the dialog box that shows up, click the Options… button

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 6, Sort Method

  7. Choose the Sort left to right orientation option and click OK

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 7, Sort Method

  8. In the Sort by row, choose the row number of the row with the order of the columns in the Row column. Then, choose Values in the Sort on column and Smallest to Largest in the Order column

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 8, Sort Method

  9. Click OK

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 9, Sort Method

  10. Your data table columns have been rearranged according to the order you specify

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 10, Sort Method

  11. Highlight the row with the order of the columns, right-click on it, and choose Delete

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 11, Sort Method

  12. Done!

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 12, Sort Method




How to Move Columns to Another Worksheet in Excel

If you want to move your columns to another worksheet, you can use the cut and paste method above. Just move to the other worksheet when you determine the location where you want to put the columns.

For example, let’s say we want to move these columns we highlight to Sheet2.

How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of the Columns for the Example of Moving Columns to Another Worksheet

Just highlight the columns you want to move, right-click on them, and choose Cut (or press Ctrl + X (Command + X on Mac)). Then, activate the destination sheet by clicking on its sheet tab. After that, highlight the column on the right of where you want to move your columns.

How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of the Column Highlight on the Right Side of Where You Want to Move Your Columns in Another Worksheet

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Right-click on the column you highlight in the destination sheet and choose Insert Cut Cells.

How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of the Insert Cut Cells Choice Location

Done! The columns have been moved to the destination sheet.

How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of the Result Example of Moving Columns to Another Worksheet

If you see the sheet where the columns are originally, there might be empty columns that replace where your columns are previously. To delete the empty columns, just highlight the empty columns, right-click on them, and choose Delete.

How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of the Delete Choice Location

Now, your columns should be fully moved to another worksheet with no trace of them in the original worksheet.

How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of the Deletion Result Example for the Blank Column that Replaces the Column We Move to Another Worksheet



How to Move Columns to Rows in Excel

You can also move columns to rows in excel by utilizing the transpose feature. Here are the detailed steps to do it.

  1. Highlight the column you want to move to rows by clicking and dragging on it

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 1, Move Columns to Rows

  2. Right-click on the highlighted column and choose Copy (or just press Ctrl + C (Command + C on Mac) buttons)

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 2, Move Columns to Rows

  3. Move your cell cursor to the top-left cell of where you want to move your columns to rows. Make sure the location doesn’t overlap with the columns’ original position

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 3, Move Columns to Rows

  4. Go to the Home tab, click on the Paste dropdown button there, and choose Transpose from the dropdown list

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 4, Move Columns to Rows

  5. Your columns have been moved as rows in the position you want

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 5, Move Columns to Rows

  6. If you want to delete the original column, just highlight the column, go to the Home tab, and click the Delete button there

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 6, Move Columns to Rows

  7. Done!

    How to Move Columns in Excel - Screenshot of Step 7, Move Columns to Rows




Exercise

After you have learned how to move columns in excel by using various methods, let’s do a simple exercise. This is so you can understand better the lessons from this tutorial.

Open an excel file you have and try to play around with its columns. Rearrange the columns by using the methods that are taught in this tutorial. Remember not to overwrite your file though!

Can you implement all of the methods? If you can’t, go back to this tutorial content and try to learn it again!



Additional Note

If you need to move many non-adjacent columns at once, don’t forget to use the sort method. The shift button and cut & paste methods seem not able to do that for you.



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