If you are a keyboard ninja, then you hate having to move your hands from the keyboard for any reason unless there is no other option. Today’s SuperUser Q&A post provides multiple ways to help a frustrated reader keep his hands on the keyboard while using Microsoft Excel.
Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.
SuperUser reader jstricker wants to know how to insert new rows in Excel using a keyboard instead of a mouse:
Right-clicking on a row and selecting insert is fairly time consuming. I would rather not have to take my hands off the keyboard. How can I insert a new row above my current row using only the keyboard? I am primarily interested in inserting a single row at a time, but would also be interested in answers that address inserting multiple rows at a time.
Is there an easy way to insert new rows in Excel using a keyboard?
SuperUser contributors jstricker, ATG, KRyan, BillOer, and assylias have the answer for us. First up, jstricker:
There are two options that I am aware of and both (unfortunately) require two steps.
- With a single cell selected, hit Shift + Space to select the row.
- Hit Control + Shift + + (Plus Sign) to insert a row above the current row.
- With a single cell selected, hit Control + Shift + + (Plus Sign) to insert a row.
- Hit Enter to accept the default of Shift Cells Down.
If inserting many rows at once, I think the first option is the best since you can repeat the second step without having to re-select the row.
Followed by the answer from ATG:
The following keyboard shortcut will insert one row above the active cell’s row:
Press Alt + I (Insert), then press R (Row).
On personal computers, use the Keyboard Right-Click Key to emulate a right-click on the current selection.
Additional note from ATG: Substituting C for R will insert a new column.
Then the answer from KRyan:
It is worth noting that this is a sequence, not necessarily keys to be pressed simultaneously (see answer from ATG above). You can type Alt, then I, then R and get the same effect.
Followed by the answer from BillOer:
You can also select multiple rows and then right-click to insert rows, or you can insert one row and then use Ctrl + Y as many times as you need to insert rows. If you format your spreadsheet as a table, you do not even need to worry about copying your formulas.
And our final answer from assylias:
On Windows I use:
- Shift + Space to select the current row.
- Keyboard Right-Click Key + I to insert a row.
(*) The Keyboard Right-Click Key looks like this:
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