Modifying a Worksheet

Help Center Introduction Modifying a Worksheet

This section shows you how to do the following tasks: add data to a cell, move through cells, add rows and columns to a spreadsheet, cut, copy and paste cells, and resize columns and rows. It also shows you how to use the freeze panes feature, which allows you to freeze the column and row headings so that you navigate easily through a large worksheet.

Adding Data to a Cell

To add data to a cell, click the cell with the mouse and begin typing.

Moving Through Cells

To move through the worksheet cells, use the keyboard commands listed below.

Movement Action Key Combination
One cell up up arrow key or <Shift> + <Enter>
One cell down down arrow key or <Enter> key
One cell left left arrow key or <Shift> + <Tab>
One cell right right arrow key or <Tab> key
Top of the worksheet (cell A1) <Ctrl> + <Home>
End of the worksheet (last cell containing data) <Ctrl< + <End>
End of the row <Ctrl> + right arrow key
End of the column <Ctrl> + down arrow key

Moving to a Specific Cell

To move to a specific cell, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the cell address (cell letter followed by cell number) in the Name Box.
  2. cell name box

  3. Press Enter on your keyboard.

Adding a row

A row runs horizontally across a worksheet. To add a row to a worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Click the worksheet where you would like the row to appear.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the arrow on the Insert button in the Cells group.
  4. Click Insert Sheet Rows
    1. Note: Doing this will insert a row above the cell that is currently selected.
  5. insert row button

Adding a Column

A column runs vertically down a worksheet. To add a column, follow these steps:

  1. Click the worksheet where you would like the column to appear.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the arrow on the Insert button in the Cells group.
  4. Click Insert Sheet Columns
    1. Note: Doing this will insert a column to the left of the cell that is currently selected.

Shortcut Menu

To insert rows or columns using the shortcut menu, follow these steps:

  1. Click the row number or column letter where you would like the new row or column to appear.
  2. Right-click the row number/column letter if you are using a PC, or control-click the row number/column letter if you are using a Mac. A shortcut menu will open.
  3. Click Insert from the shortcut menu.
  • Note for rows: Doing this will add the row above the row you selected.
  • Note for columns: Doing this will add the column to the left of the column you selected

Resizing Columns

To resize a column, follow these steps:

  1. Click anywhere on the worksheet to select it.
  2. Hold your mouse over the boundary of the column heading until the mouse changes to a plus sign.
  3. Click and drag until you are happy with the width of the column.

To change the width of multiple columns at once, select the column headings you want to change, and then click and drag one of the columns to the desired width.

Resizing Rows

To resize a row, follow these steps:

  1. Click anywhere on the worksheet to select it.
  2. Hold your mouse over the boundary of the row heading until the mouse changes to a plus sign.
  3. Click and drag until you are happy with the width of the row.

To change the width of multiple rows at once, select the row headings you want to change, and then click and drag one of the rows to the desired width.

Selecting Cells

Before you can modify or format a cell, you must first select it. The table below will show you the quickest way to select cells.

Cells to Select Mouse Action
One cell Click once in the cell
Entire row Click the row heading
Entire column Click the column heading
Entire worksheet Click the Select All button located above
the row headings and to the left of the column headings,
or press <Ctrl> + A on your keyboard.
Cluster of cells Click and drag the mouse over the cell cluster

Cutting, Copying, and Pasting Cells

To move cells from one location to another on a worksheet, you must first cut or copy the cell(s), and then paste the cell(s) to its new location.

To cut a cell, follow these steps:

  1. Click the cell to select it.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the Cut button from the Clipboard group, or press <Ctrl> + X on your keyboard. Cut Button

    The cell will now have a flashing dotted border around it.

To copy a cell, follow these steps:

  1. Click the cell to select it.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the Copy button from the Clipboard group, or press <Ctrl> + C on your keyboard. Copy Button

    The cell will now have a flashing dotted border around it.

To paste a cut or copied cell to a new location on your worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Click the new location on your worksheet to select it.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Click the Paste button from the Clipboard group, or press <Ctrl> + V on your keyboard.

If you are moving the cell contents only a short distance, the drag-and-drop method may be easier.

  1. Click the cell you want to move. A black border will appear around the edges of the cell.
  2. Click the black border of the cell and drag it to the new location.

Freeze Panes

If you have a large worksheet with many column and row headings, those headings will disappear as the worksheet is scrolled. If you would like the headings to remain visible at all times, you can use the Freeze Panes feature. The column and row headings have to be frozen separately.

To freeze the row headings, follow these steps:

  1. Click the heading of Row 1, on the left of the worksheet.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Click the Freeze Panes button from the Window group.
  4. Click Freeze Top Row.

To freeze the column headings, follow these steps:

  1. Click the heading of Column A, on the top of the worksheet.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Click the Freeze Panes button from the Window group.
  4. Click Freeze First Column.

If you want to unfreeze a row, click the Freeze Panes button on the View tab, and then click Unfreeze Pane.

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