How to Move Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Moving Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Want to rearrange your data in Excel? Moving columns in Excel is a snap! You just need to select the column, drag it to its new location, and drop it. This guide will break down each step so you can do it with your eyes closed. Ready? Let’s dive in.

How to Move Columns in Excel

This section will walk you through the steps to move columns in Excel. By the end, you’ll know exactly how to shift any column to a new spot in your spreadsheet.

Step 1: Select the Column

Click on the letter header of the column you want to move.

When you click on the header, the entire column should be highlighted, making it easy to see what you’re about to move. Make sure not to click on the cells themselves, as that will only select individual cells.

Step 2: Cut the Column

Press Ctrl + X on your keyboard.

Cutting the column removes it from its current position but keeps it in your clipboard. This step is crucial to ensure you can easily place it in a new location.

Step 3: Choose the Destination

Click on the letter header of the column where you want to move the original column.

Selecting the destination column is important because it tells Excel where to insert the column you’re moving. Double-check to make sure you’re selecting the correct spot.

Step 4: Insert the Column

Press Ctrl + + (Ctrl and the plus key) to insert the cut column before the selected column.

Inserting the column will move all existing columns to the right of the destination, making room for the new column.

Step 5: Confirm the Move

Check to ensure the column has been moved to the right place and all data is intact.

Always double-check your work to make sure everything is where it should be. It’s better to catch mistakes now than later.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your column will be in its new location, and all the data should be intact. Easy, right?

Tips for Moving Columns in Excel

  • Save your work first: Always save a copy of your spreadsheet before making changes.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts: They make the process faster and more efficient.
  • Double-check your selection: Make sure you’re selecting entire columns, not just individual cells.
  • Keep an eye on formulas: Moving columns can sometimes mess with your formulas, so double-check them after the move.
  • Work in smaller sections: If your spreadsheet is huge, break it down into smaller sections to make moving columns easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I move multiple columns at once?

Yes, you can. Just select multiple columns by clicking and dragging across the letter headers, then follow the same steps.

What if my data gets messed up after moving columns?

Undo the move by pressing Ctrl + Z and try again. Double-check your selections to make sure you’re moving the correct columns.

Can I move columns between different worksheets?

Yes, but you’ll need to copy and paste instead of just cutting and inserting.

Will moving columns affect my charts?

It can. Always check any charts or graphs linked to your data after moving columns to ensure they still display correctly.

What happens to merged cells when I move columns?

Merged cells can make moving columns tricky. It’s best to unmerge the cells, move the columns, and then merge them again.


  1. Select the Column
  2. Cut the Column
  3. Choose the Destination
  4. Insert the Column
  5. Confirm the Move


Moving columns in Excel doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a few simple steps, you can easily rearrange your data to suit your needs. Remember to save your work frequently and double-check your selections to avoid any mishaps. By following this guide, you’ll become a pro at moving columns in no time. If you’re interested in learning more Excel tips and tricks, stay tuned for more articles or check out other resources online. Happy Excel-ing!