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4.4: Inserting Data

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    It is usually easy to add data to an existing worksheet, because Excel has seemingly unlimited columns and rows of cells. (There are limits, but this is not Jeopardy!) Nonetheless, sometimes it is necessary to insert a column or row into the middle of an existing range of cells. Insert Delete ExcelTo insert a new column, select the column heading to the right of where you want the new column to appear, and click the top-half of the Insert button from the Home tab. Alternatively, just right-click the column heading to the right of the destination, and choose Insert from the Context Menu. Deleting columns is very similar. Whichever column(s) that are selected will be deleted if using the Delete button instead of the Insert button. Inserting and deleting rows is also very similar. Selecting the row below the intended new row and either choosing Insert from the ribbon or from the Context Menu will create a new row above the selection. For example, right-clicking row 10, and choosing Insert from the Context Menu will create a new, blank row 10, and all existing data will move down one row.

    Shortcut menu Excel
    Shortcut menu Excel

    Using the right-click method is a little faster than clicking the worksheet and then clicking the ribbon, as the shortcut menu avoids the need to move the mouse to the ribbon. The Context Menu, also known as Shortcut Menu, provides added functionality by offering actions that can be taken with the selected item. In addition to inserting and deleting, formatting column widths and row heights, as well as  hiding and unhiding columns and rows are options from the Context Menu. Adjusting the column width is a common action since excessively wide columns prohibit efficient worksheet printing. Therefore, it is often preferable to widen a column width by double-clicking the boundary bar that separates the column heading letters. This is known as auto-fitting the column width since the column will resize its width to be just wide enough to display the longest data contained in that column.

    Column width pointer
    Column width pointer

    Clicking and dragging the double-arrow pointer to the left or right allows users to manually adjust the column width.

    4.4: Inserting Data is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcus Lacher via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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