- The final result looks like this.
Column C (Names) is now placed between the column for Order Number and Amount.
Also, note how the column letter has automatically adjusted here (Column C is now Column B). You can do the same for rows in Excel.
If we had tried to do the same without using the Shift key, Excel would have shown a warning prompt 🚩
And the result would look something like this:
The original column B (Amount) is overwritten as we pasted column C in its place.
Method # 2: Using the insert, cut, and paste hack
This method is usually used by Excel newbies. And honestly, it’s not a very sophisticated approach for moving columns. Nevertheless, it works well.
The process is simple. You just select, insert, cut, paste and delete. Bounced over your head?
Don’t worry – we’ve got a detailed explanation below.
Let’s use the same dataset as in the example above. And we again want to move column C between columns A and B, but this time, with a new method.
- Select the destined column (where you want to move Column C).
In our case, it’s column B (Amount).
- Right-click column B and select the Insert option from the drop-down menu.
- A blank column will appear on the left side of the selected column:
- Select column D or press Ctrl + X to cut or CTRL + C to copy the entire column.
Note that after we’ve inserted an additional column before Column B, all columns have moved an alphabet ahead.
The column for Names (previously Column C) has now become Column D 👀
A moving, dotted enclosure will appear around the column. That’s when you’re ready to paste it to the new location.
- Select the header Column B.
- Press down the Control Key + V to paste the column.
- Column D moves between columns A and C (previously Column B) successfully.
Too many steps and a little longer process? That is why this is not the best or the primary method to move columns in Excel.
Method # 3: Using the CTRL key
Just like we can move columns using the Shift key, we can use the Control key for the same purpose too😍
There’s only one difference between both methods. When you copy columns using the CTRL key, the copied data is pasted into a new column. But, and that’s a big BUT – the data in the pasted column is replaced.
Didn’t get it? Let’s understand it through an example below.
We are using the same data as earlier, and we want to move Column C using the Control key this time.
- Select column C by right-clicking the Column C header.
- Press down the Control key and hover over to the edge of the column until you see a plus sign.
- Hold and drag the column to the desired location.
- Column C replaces column B and appears right after the first column.
What happened here was that when we pressed the Control key, Excel made a copy of column C in place of column B by overwriting column B.
You can now delete column C by clicking delete from the context menu.