Top 5 ways to move data in Excel

May 13, 2021 | Excel Hints and Tips

Who would have thought that there were so many ways to do the same thing!! 

The last thing you want to do if you have put things in the wrong place is a full retype.  So take your pick from these options to move data from one place to another efficiently. 

Cut and Paste 

This is probably the most common way that people move information in general.  It can be used in many different situations and the keyboard shortcuts make it a speedy solution. 

1. Select the data to cut

2. Copy the information by using the Cut icon on the Home tab or CTRL + X 

    Cut icon

    3. Move to where the top left hand corner of the data is to be placed 

    4. Paste the information by using Paste icon on the Home tab or using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + V 

      Paste icon

      NOTE: The paste icon gives multiple options of how the data will be pasted.  The main paste option will paste everything. 

      Insert Cut Cells 

      With this option the cut cells can be inserted and the data below moves down. 

      1. Select the data to cut 
      2. Copy the information by using the Cut icon on the Home tab or CTRL + X 
      3. Move to where the top left hand corner of the data is to be placed 
      4. Right click and choose Insert Cut Cells
      Insert cut cells

      This saves extra rows needing to be inserted before pasting the data as they are created as part of the insertion process.

      Drag and Drop 

      This is really quick but works best if the data is not being moved too far. 

      1. Select the data to move 
      2. Hover over the border of the data (but not the bottom right corner) until the cursor changes to a 4 ended arrow with a white arrow 
      3. Drag the data to the new location 

      NOTE: If the location where the data is to be dropped already contains data the option of replacing the existing data will appear.  If this is not what you needed then cancel the dialog box. 

      Insert Rows and Columns 

      This option is often useful if the size of your data is large.  It often avoids the need to select large blocks of data that some of the other methods require. 

      1. Select the whole row or column by clicking on the row number or the column letter 
      2. Right click on this row number of column letter and choose Insert or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + + 
      Insert

      Delete Rows and Columns 

      This option quickly deletes whole rows or columns moving the remaining data up or left respectively. 

      1. Select the whole row or column by clicking on the row number or the column letter 
      2. Right click on this row number of column letter and choose Delete or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL +  

      There are times when the method chosen doesn’t matter but there are many occasions where one of these options will be significantly easier than any of the others. 

      Some of these options also work in the other Microsoft packages so reuse your knowledge again and again to save even more time than you thought possible. 

      Further Reading

      If you’ve enjoyed reading about how to move data in Excel, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

      Want to learn more about other Excel features? Then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Courses I run.

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