Inserting and Deleting

As you saw in the preceding hour , you edit Excel worksheets somewhat differently from Word documents, even though both programs perform tasks in a similar manner and with similar menu commands and dialog boxes. The nature of worksheets makes them behave differently from word-processing documents. The next few sections explain how to insert and delete information from your worksheets.

Inserting Entire Cells

Inserting cells, as opposed to inserting data inside a cell, requires that the existing worksheet cells move to the right and down to make room for the new cell . Perhaps you created a worksheet of employee salaries and failed to include the employees who work at another division. You can easily make room for those missing entries by inserting new cells. You can insert both new rows and new columns in your worksheets.

To Do: Insert a Cell into a Worksheet

When you want to insert a cell into an existing worksheet, you perform these steps:

  1. Select the cell that should appear after the inserted cell.

  2. Select Insert, Cells to display the Insert dialog box.

  3. Click either the Shift Cells Right option or the Shift Cells Down option to determine the direction of the shift. The shift makes room for your new cell.

  4. Click OK to begin the shift.

You can use the mouse to move cells right or down to make room for new data by using the fill handle , the small black box that appears in the bottom-right corner of a cell. (Figure 7.1 shows the selected range's fill handle.) Press Shift and drag the cell's fill handle (or the selection's fill handle if you have selected a group of cells) down or to the right. Excel grays out the areas that are left blank by the shifting.

To Do: Insert Rows and Columns

To insert a row or column (and thus move the other rows down or other columns to the right), perform these steps:

  1. Select the row or column that appears after the inserted rows or columns by clicking its header to select the entire row or column. If you want to insert more than one row or column, select that many existing rows or columns by dragging the row or column selection.

  2. Select Insert, Rows or Insert, Columns. Excel shifts the existing rows or columns to make room for the new empty row or column. Instead of selecting from the menu bar, you can point to the selected row or column and display the shortcut menu shown in Figure 7.2 by right-clicking the mouse to insert the new row or column. (Excel inserts multiple rows or columns if you first selected more than one row or column.)

    Figure 7.2. The shortcut menu offers Insert, Delete, and several other options.


To Do: Delete Rows and Columns

You can use the Delete dialog box not only to delete cells, but also to delete entire rows and columns.

To delete a row or column, perform these steps:

  1. Select a cell in the row or column you want to delete.

  2. Select Edit, Delete to display the Delete dialog box.

  3. Select either the Entire Row or Entire Column option.

  4. Click OK to perform the deletion. Excel shifts columns to the left or shifts rows up to fill in the missing gap.


If you want to delete multiple rows or multiple columns, select cells from each column or row you want to delete before displaying the Delete dialog box.

Deleting rows and columns differs from deleting specific contents inside cells. When you want to erase a cell's specific contents, the other cells to the right and below that cell don't shift to fill in the empty space. To erase a cell's contents, click on the cell to move the cell pointer there and press F2 to edit the cell's contents. Press Backspace to erase the cell. Even quicker, you can press Ctrl+X or select Edit, Cut to remove the contents and send them to the Office Clipboard where you can paste them elsewhere or ignore them.

Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office 2003 in 24 Hours
Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Office 2003 in 24 Hours
ISBN: 0672325535
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 272
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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