How To Rearrange Columns in Excel

There are many ways to enhance productivity in Excel. One of them is to rearrange the columns. However, accessing this feature can be challenging, especially if you’re not well-versed in the interface. But worry not – this article will demonstrate how to rearrange columns in Excel. This way, you’ll know how to work faster and have a clear view of all crucial information.

How To Rearrange Columns in Excel

How to Rearrange Columns in Excel on a PC

Most people use Microsoft Excel on their PC due to the larger screen. This also helps you rearrange columns more easily. There are several methods to do so, and the first one involves a seamless drag-and-drop motion:

  1. Open a worksheet.
  2. Place the cursor atop the column that will be rearranged. The cursor should now transform into an arrow.
  3. Highlight your column using the arrow.
  4. Hold your Shift button.
  5. Navigate to the left or right border and hold it with the arrow.
  6. Drag the edge to the left or right. As the cursor moves across your columns, the borders should darken, indicating the new position.
  7. When the new location looks good, release your mouse click. The column will now be relocated to the place highlighted by the dark edge.

Another way to rearrange columns is to use the Data Sort function. This method might be slightly more complicated than the first one if you only wish to move two or three columns. But if you’re working on a larger spreadsheet with numerous columns, the technique can save you a lot of time.

This is how it works:

  1. Navigate to a spreadsheet and insert a row at the top of the section by right-clicking on the uppermost row and choosing “Insert.” You should now see the new unit.
  2. Number the columns you want to rearrange according to the order they will appear, starting from the first one. Make sure to number each item you plan on using.
  3. Select the data you wish to rearrange and go to your “Data” tab.
  4. Go to the “Sort and Filter” section and press “Sort.”
  5. Choose Options and press the button near the “Sort left to right” prompt.
  6. Hit “OK” and browse your “Sort By” menu.
  7. Select “Row 1”, followed by “OK.”
  8. Your columns should now be sorted. If you want to reverse the change, right-click your first row. Choose “Delete,” and you’ll go back to the default layout.

Keep in mind that the Data Sort method won’t work if Data Validation is activated in the existing columns. If so, you’ll need to remove it by highlighting the affected cells and choosing “Data Validation.” Go to “Settings, followed by “Clear All,” and press “OK.” You can now implement the rearrangement technique as discussed.

The final method of rearranging columns is straightforward. It requires you to cut a column and paste it to a new location. The process is very simple:

  1. Go to your spreadsheet and select a column.
  2. Press the “Ctrl X” combination on the keyboard to cut your column from the current location. You should now see “marching ants” near your column, indicating it’s been removed from the original position.

  3. Determine the new location of the column.
  4. Highlight the destination of the column and right-click on it.
  5. Choose the “Insert” command from the menu.
  6. The column should now appear in the appropriate location.

How to Rearrange Columns in Excel on an iPhone

While an iPhone gives you a smaller screen to work with, you shouldn’t have trouble rearranging columns in Excel. In fact, it should only take a few seconds:

  1. Open Excel.
  2. Tap the column that will be rearranged.
  3. Hold the selected column letters until it appears that the column is rising off the table.
  4. Drag them to the left or right of another column to complete the process. If you drag your unit outside an existing table, this will create a new table.

Another interesting way to rearrange columns on your iPhone is to transpose them. In other words, you can switch columns and rows, where the contents of one row become the contents of a column. You can do so as many times as you like, and the process is straightforward:

  1. Go to your spreadsheet.
  2. Tap your table and press the circle symbol in the upper-left part of the screen.
  3. Hit the “Table” button with a lightning bolt next to it in the lower-right section of your display.
  4. Activate the transpose function. Your columns and rows will resize to the appropriate width and height for your table. Plus, the header rows will turn into header columns, and the footer rows are your new rightmost columns.

How to Rearrange Columns in Excel on an iPad

Rearranging columns on an iPad is also easy. It works pretty much the same as on iPhones:

  1. Launch Excel and go to a spreadsheet.
  2. Tap a column.
  3. Hold the column to highlight it. Dotted lines should now appear, meaning your unit is ready to move.
  4. Drag the item and drop it in the preferred location.

How to Rearrange Columns in Excel on an Android Device

Rearranging columns on your Android device shouldn’t be a problem, either. The process boils down to dragging and dropping the items to the desired location:

  1. Start Excel on your tablet or phone.
  2. Access your spreadsheet.
  3. Select a column you wish to rearrange by tapping it.
  4. Hold the selected column and drag it wherever you want.

How to Rearrange Columns in Excel Without Overwriting

One thing you should avoid when rearranging columns is overwriting data. Luckily, there’s an easy way to do so:

  1. Select your columns by dragging over their headers.
  2. Hover the border until you see a four-sided arrow.
  3. Hold “Shift” and your left mouse button.

  4. Relocate the columns.
  5. Release the mouse button and “Shift.”

Expediting Work in Excel

You shouldn’t have a hard time rearranging columns in Excel, whether you’re an Android, PC, or iOS user. There are several ways to access the function, all of which shouldn’t take too long to master. Once this feature becomes routine, you’ll be able to complete your projects much faster.

How often do you rearrange columns in Excel? What’s your favorite method? Let us know in the comments section below.

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