How to Insert a Column into Excel (2 Ways)

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How to Insert a Column into Excel (2 Ways)
How to Insert a Column into Excel (2 Ways)

Sometimes we need to or are advised to add an additional column to a spreadsheet during final touches. Excel enables you to add columns in a variety of ways, whether you want to establish new categories, segregate data into many columns, or arrange the spreadsheet to make it simpler to traverse.

In this post, we’ll go through the best methods to create columns in Microsoft Excel sheets, from a few clicks to a keyboard shortcut.

1. How to Add a Column Using a Keyboard Shortcut

You may create single or numerous columns using keyboard shortcuts, just like any other feature in Excel. As a result, let’s create a new column in Excel in the quickest way possible.

To add a column in Excel, on a Windows computer, use CTRL + Shift + “+,” whereas on a Mac, type “” + I. However, before you use the shortcut, you must first choose the column that you wish to advance by inserting a new column in its stead.

Keep in mind that Excel always adds a column left to the selection. We picked column B in the example below, then pushed the shortcut, and the data in column B was shifted to the next column.

How to Add Multiple Columns in Excel Using a Keyboard Shortcut

To add several columns in Excel, pick the number of columns you want to advance at the same time before selecting the shortcut.

To add three columns between columns A and B, for example, select columns B, C, and D all at once before clicking the shortcut. If you pick three columns independently, using the shortcut will add a column to the left of each one.

The final output will be as follows:

When individual cells are chosen rather than columns, the shortcut also works. However, there will be an additional stage in the procedure. This is how it works:

Can the Shortcut Be Used With Cells Rather Than Columns?

Using shortcuts to add columns can save you time and give your hands a break.

  1. Select all of cells B2, C2, and D2.
  2. Use the CTRL + Shift + “+” shortcut.
  3. Click OK after selecting the circle for the Entire column.
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If you prefer to do things manually rather than searching for keys on the keyboard, you can also create columns using Excel’s Insert function. This functionality is only available on the Home ribbon, not the Insert ribbon.

2. How to Add a Column Using the Insert Feature

Follow the steps below to create a column using the Insert feature:

You may also use the Insert function to add numerous columns, as we did previously with shortcuts—just pick several columns beforehand, like in the other example.

  1. Choose the column to which you want to advance one column ahead. (For example, if we wish to add a column between columns C and D, we will choose column D and shift it one column forward.)
  2. Navigate to the Home tab.
  3. In the ribbon, go to the Cells group.
  4. To open the dropdown menu, click Insert.
  5. Select Insert Sheet Columns from the menu.

For people who dislike dragging their mouse across multiple tabs and ribbons, there are two other methods to add a column utilizing the Insert function. Both are fast and simple. Let’s take them one at a time:

The methods below will demonstrate how to create a column by simply choosing a cell and utilizing the Insert feature:

Method 1: Using the Insert Feature by Selecting a Cell

To utilize the Insert function by choosing a column, follow these steps:

  1. Choose any cell in the column to go one column ahead.
  2. Right-click in the cell.
  3. Click on Insert.
  4. Click OK after selecting the Entire column. Select the column to which you wish to add a new column.

Method 2: Using the Insert Feature by Selecting a Column

You may also add numerous columns using one of these approaches. In Excel, you can also utilize the Insert tool to create rows by selecting rows rather than columns. So far, we have only inserted several columns in a dataset with neighboring columns. There may be occasions when you wish to add many columns with non-adjacent columns in one go, for example, a column between A and B and D and E while bypassing the rest of the columns.

  1. Right-click anywhere in the column you want to edit.
  2. Right-click anywhere in the selected column.
  3. Click on Insert.
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Fortunately, adding columns with non-adjacent columns is similar to adding columns with adjacent columns. In fact, all of the strategies we discussed above function the same way—the only variation is how the columns are selected.

How to Add Columns Adjacent to Non-Adjacent Columns in One Go

Because Excel adds columns to the left of each selection, you must choose the column that appears first in the column pair, i.e., to add the columns in the case described above, you must select columns B and E at the same time.

After that, you may use whatever technique you like since the procedure will be almost same. Similarly, if you desire, you may compare columns in Excel.

Although Excel enables you to include columns in a spreadsheet in table format rather of a typical dataset in range format, there are certain restrictions to be aware of.

There are two significant constraints you may encounter when adding a column to a data set in table format:

Limitations to Add a Column in Excel Table

In contrast to a conventional range dataset, where you can quickly add columns next to non-adjacent ones by choosing several columns in the spreadsheet, you cannot do it in a table in one go. The only option here is to select each non-adjacent column and insert a column to the left of it independently.

You cannot add a column anywhere in the spreadsheet if you have turned the complete spreadsheet into a table rather than just the filled items. It’s because there isn’t enough room in the table to add a new column, which isn’t the case with a typical dataset.

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1. You Can’t Add Columns With Non-Adjacent Columns in One Go

In each of the above scenarios, neither the shortcuts nor the Insert option will function to create a column. If you go to the Home tab and open the Insert dropdown menu, you’ll see that the option is also grayed out.

2. You Can’t Add Columns in a Sheet Completely Converted Into a Table

To get around these limits, transform the table into a range, add columns or make changes, and then convert it back. Make a duplicate of your spreadsheet beforehand, so that if Excel screws up the formatting during conversion, you can restore it.

Converting an Excel table to range format is as simple as right-clicking any column in the table, heading to Table, and choosing Convert to Range.

You should now be able to add one or more columns to an Excel spreadsheet. Feel free to play around with them. Even if adding columns to tables will be restricted, there are alternative methods to style them more efficiently, thus such limits will be insignificant.

You can convert an Excel table into the range format by right-clicking any cell in the table, navigating to Table, and clicking Convert to Range.

Add Columns in Excel Spreadsheet With Ease

You should now be familiar with adding single or multiple columns to an Excel spreadsheet. Feel free to experiment with them. Even though you’ll be limited in adding columns to tables, there are other ways to format them more effectively, so such limitations won’t make a significant difference.

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