Move columns with the Shift key
When you move a column to a new location, Microsoft Excel will send you this message:
If you click OK, you may lose the data in the column you want to move to 😥
And we don’t want that.
There’s a way for you to move Excel columns without losing existing data in your Excel spreadsheet. Just swap or switch your Excel columns with the help of the Shift key.
Here’s how 👇
Say you want the First Name to be the first column in this data table. To do that…
- Click the column that you want to move.
In our practice workbook, click Column B.
This selects the entire column B.
When you move your cursor to the edge of the selection, it would display the move icon (a four-directional arrow icon).
💡 For the next steps, remember to press Shift always while doing the drag and drop.
- Hold down the Shift key and click on either the right or left border of the selection with your left mouse button.
- Drag and drop it to the column where you want this row to be shifted.
When you see a bold line to the edge of the column where you want to move this column, release your left mouse button.
You can now also release the Shift key.
See? No existing data is lost. You just swapped the two columns 👏
Moving Excel columns is easy!
Just remember to press the shift key at all times while doing the drag-and-drop method 😊
You are not limited to moving one column. Of course, you can move more than one column in Excel as long as they are contiguous columns.
To swap multiple columns, you just need to select multiple columns in the spreadsheet and do the drag-and-drop method.
If you don’t like the drag-and-drop method, then you’re going to like the next method we’ll discuss.
In the next method, you’ll use a keyboard shortcut you already love in switching the order of your Excel columns.