How to Add or Remove Columns in Excel

When working on an Excel spreadsheet, you will eventually run into situations where you may need to add or remove columns. In Excel, the process of adding or removing columns is straightforward and intuitive.

I will be using the Office 365 version of Excel (build 2203) for this guide. However, the instructions will be the same for other versions.

How to Add Columns

First, let’s look at our sample spreadsheet to which we will be adding columns.

  1. We have a table consisting of five columns. We want to add another column to this table for additional data.

    Excel Spreadsheet
    A spreadsheet in Excel showing data

  2. The horizontal bar shows the columns arranged in alphabetical order. Right-click on the column where you wish to add a new column and select Insert.

    Image showing Excel table
    A menu showing different operations you can perform on your column

  3. Your new column will be added to the left of the right-clicked column.

    Image Showing Excel Table
    The new column has been inserted into your table

How to Add Multiple Columns

If you want to add more than a single column to your table in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Select multiple columns from the horizontal bar by holding your left mouse button and highlighting the number of columns you wish to add. Once you have highlighted the columns, right-click and select Insert.

    Excel spreadsheet
    Select multiple columns from the horizontal bar

  2. The new columns are added to the left.

    Image showing excel spreadsheet
    The new columns are added to the left

How to Delete Columns

Deleting columns from Excel is similar to adding them.

  1. Highlight the columns you wish to delete, right-click and select Delete.
    Data table in Excel
    Selected columns of an Excel table

    2. The highlighted columns are deleted, and the remaining columns shift left to fill the space.

    Excel Main Page Showing Table
    The remaining columns replace the deleted columns

How to Delete Separated Columns

You may end up in a situation where you need to delete multiple columns separated from each other. Here’s how you can achieve this in one step.

  1. Hold CTRL (Command on Mac) on your keyboard and left-click the column you want to delete. Then right-click and select Delete.
    Excel main page showing table
    The selected columns are highlighted.

    Image showing Excel table
    Click on Delete to remove the selected columns

  2. Columns shift to fill the deleted space.

    Excel main page showing table
    Columns to the right replace deleted columns.

Phoebe is an HR assistant in her day job, but is also a web blogger that loves writing guides and sharing her experiences. When she is not out with her friends, she enjoys traveling or binge-watching Netflix. She graduated with a BA in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Utah, and is a chief editor at TechObservatory.

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