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How to Add & Remove Columns & Rows in an Excel Table

How to Add & Remove Columns & Rows in an Excel Table
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  • 0:01 Working with Tables in Excel
  • 0:48 Quick Review
  • 2:14 Adding Data
  • 4:02 Deleting Rows & Columns
  • 4:47 Resizing Tables
  • 6:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

Tables in Excel make it easy to add and remove data or insert and delete rows. This lesson will guide you through the steps to adding and removing data, rows and columns in an Excel table.

Working With Tables in Excel

Adding tables to an Excel worksheet makes it super easy to add and remove data, rows and columns. I would say this is likely one of the biggest advantages to using a table. When you create a table, formatting, such as shading and borders, is automatically added as well. When deleting or inserting rows and columns, the table element keeps the formatting intact. For example, if you add data to the first empty row below the table, Excel automatically extends the formatting to the new row.

We will look at a couple examples in this lesson and learn how to add and remove data, insert and delete rows and columns and resize tables.

Quick Review

Before we get too far, let's quickly review how to apply the table element to existing worksheet data. This will give us an example table to work with as we continue through the lesson and give you a quick refresher on the steps.

The example worksheet is the sales results for Mac's MooTime Ice Cream. Mac owns five stores throughout California, and we have the sales numbers for each location. The worksheet also details the sales numbers for each type of ice cream treat Mac that sells at his creamery: cones, shakes, malts, sundaes and smoothies. Let's format the worksheet as a table. Here are the steps.

  1. Highlight the worksheet data to format as a table (you can select any cell of data and press #Control + A on your keyboard).
  2. Go to the Home menu in the ribbon.
  3. Look in the Styles grouping of commands.
  4. Click on Format as Table.
  5. Choose a table style from the gallery.
  6. When the Format as Table dialogue box opens, confirm My table has headers is selected.
  7. Click OK.

Nicely done! This table will give us a good example to use as we continue with the lesson.

Table for example
example spreadsheet

Adding Data

Imagine Mac's business is doing very well. He has opened two more stores: Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. We need to add the two stores and their sales numbers to the worksheet.

Now, if you had created a standard worksheet and manually formatted the data with color, shading and borders, every time you needed to add data you would need to reformat. But with tables, the formatting extends to the new rows and columns. Let's start by adding the two new locations, which will require adding two more columns.

  1. Go to the first empty column at the right of the table.
  2. Type the new column title or header (in our example, we will enter Las Vegas).
  3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard (notice below how the table has been extended to include the formatting and the filter control for the new column).

Table after adding column
example table after adding column

No reformatting necessary! Let's go ahead and enter a column for Lake Tahoe as well. Simply type the column title and hit Enter.

Rows work similar to columns. Imagine that Mac added yogurt treats to his menu. We need to add yogurt as one of the categories, which will require adding a row to our table.

  1. Go to the first empty row, just under the table.
  2. Type the new row title (in our example, we will enter Yogurt).
  3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.

Again, just as with the columns, Excel extends the table element and formatting to the new row.

Deleting Rows and Columns

The steps to deleting a table row or column are very similar to working with your standard worksheet. So, let's take a look.

  1. In the column or row you want to delete, select one cell.
  2. Go to the Home menu in the ribbon.
  3. Look in the Cells grouping of commands.
  4. Click on the more icon to the Delete command (upside-down triangle).
  5. Select either Delete Table Rows or Delete Table Columns from the drop down menu.

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