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Google Sheets lets you add rows or columns to an existing spreadsheet on the fly to help you organize even better. Whether you want one or ten, above or to the right, here’s how to insert rows and columns into Sheets.

How to Add Rows or Columns

Fire up your browser and head to the Google Sheets home page. Open a spreadsheet in which you want to insert a few rows or columns.

Open a spreadsheet that you want to insert some rows or columns into.

Next, click on a cell where you want to insert a column or row next to. After, select “Insert” from the toolbar.

From the Insert menu, you’ll see a few options for inserting rows and columns into your spreadsheet. You can insert rows above or below and columns to the left or right of the selected cell.

Next, from the options available, choose rows above or below or columns to the left or right.

If you want to insert more than one row or column at a time, highlight as many cells as you want to add. For example, highlight two vertical cells to insert two rows or highlight two horizontal cells to insert columns.

If you select more than one cell, you can insert more than one row or column.

You can insert rows and columns from the right-click context menu as well. Highlight the cell you want to insert them next to, right-click the selection, and then choose “Insert Rows” or “Insert Columns.”

By default, when using the right-click method, rows will insert above and columns will insert to the left of the selection.

Google Sheets even has a few keyboard shortcuts that let you add rows or columns without ever taking your hands off the keyboard. Select the cell, as you did before, and then press one of the shortcuts to insert a row or column.

Because Google likes to make things complicated, there are some browser-specific shortcuts. If you’re using Chrome on Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS, use the shortcut for Chrome. If you’re using a different browser, follow the other browser-specific commands:

  • Alt+I, then R (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+Ithen R (Other browsers): Insert rows above.
  • Alt+I, then W (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+Ithen W (Other browsers): Insert rows below.
  • Alt+I, then C (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+Ithen C (Other browsers): Insert columns to the left.
  • Alt+I, then O (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+Ithen O (Other browsers): Insert columns to the right.

If you use macOS, follow these shortcuts to add rows or columns to your spreadsheet:

  • Ctrl+Option+Ithen R: Insert rows above.
  • Ctrl+Option+Ithen W: Insert rows below.
  • Ctrl+Option+Ithen C: Insert columns to the left.
  • Ctrl+Option+Ithen O: Insert columns to the right.

RELATED: All the Best Google Sheets Keyboard Shortcuts

And just like that, Sheets inserts the rows/columns to your spreadsheet.

Blank rows or columns are added directly to the place where you specify. Sheets adds them seamlessly.

How to Remove Rows or Columns

Fire up Google Sheets in a browser and open a spreadsheet from which you want to remove a column or row.

Highlight a cell in the row or column that you want to remove, right-click it, and then select either “Delete Row” or “Delete Column.”

If you want to remove more than one row or column at a time, highlight as many cells as you want to remove, and then right-click on the selection to delete them.

When removing rows and columns in Google Sheets, you can use these shortcuts if you’d prefer to keep your fingers on your keyboard the whole time. Highlight the cells from the row or column you want to remove, and then press the keyboard shortcut for the command you want to execute.

Again, because Google wants to be difficult, here are the browser-specific keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS:

  • Alt+E, then D (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+Ethen D (Other browsers): Delete rows.
  • Alt+E, then E (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+Ethen E (Other browsers): Delete columns.

If you use macOS, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to remove rows or columns:

  • Ctrl+Option+Ethen D: Delete rows.
  • Ctrl+Option+Ethen E: Delete columns.

Whether you use the Insert menu, right-click context menu, or the keyboard shortcut, adding or removing rows and columns from your spreadsheet is an effortless process you can complete in a couple of clicks—or keystrokes.

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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