Excel Tutorial: How To Add One Column To Another In Excel


In this Excel tutorial, we will explore the process of adding one column to another in Excel. This can be extremely useful for consolidating data or performing calculations on multiple columns at once. Understanding how to merge or append columns in Excel can save you time and streamline your workflow.

Adding one column to another in Excel is a crucial skill for anyone working with large sets of data. Whether you are a business analyst, student, or researcher, being able to combine columns efficiently can greatly improve your efficiency and accuracy in data analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding one column to another in Excel is a crucial skill for efficient data analysis.
  • Understanding the data and ensuring compatibility of data types is essential before merging columns.
  • The SUM function, Paste Special feature, and Power Query tool are useful methods for adding columns in Excel.
  • Regular data cleaning and organization are important for accurate analysis and streamlined workflow.
  • Removing blank rows is a necessary step in data cleaning to maintain data accuracy.

Understanding the Data

Before adding one column to another in Excel, it’s important to first understand the data that you are working with. This involves identifying the columns to be added and ensuring the data types are compatible.

A. Identifying the columns to be added
  • Take a look at your Excel spreadsheet and identify the columns that you want to add together. This could be numerical data, such as sales figures or quantities, that you want to combine into a single column.
  • Make sure the columns you want to add together are adjacent to each other, as this will make the process much simpler.

B. Ensuring the data types are compatible
  • Check the data type of each column to ensure they are compatible for addition. For example, if one column contains numerical data and the other contains text, you may need to convert the text data to numbers before adding them together.
  • Ensure that there are no empty cells or errors in the columns you want to add together, as this could affect the accuracy of your results.

Using the SUM Function

When adding one column to another in Excel, the SUM function is a useful tool to quickly and accurately calculate the total. Here’s how to use it:

A. Selecting the destination cell for the sum

Begin by selecting the cell where you want the sum to appear. This is typically the cell at the bottom of the column where you want the total to be displayed.

B. Entering the SUM formula

Once the destination cell is selected, type =SUM( into the formula bar. Then, click on the first cell in the column you want to add, and drag the cursor to the last cell in the column while holding down the left mouse button. Once all the cells are selected, release the mouse button and type ) to close the formula. Press Enter to see the sum displayed in the destination cell.

C. Understanding absolute and relative cell references

When using the SUM function, it’s important to understand the difference between absolute and relative cell references. An absolute cell reference is indicated by placing a dollar sign ($) before the column letter and row number (e.g., $A$1). This means that the cell reference will not change when copied to another cell. A relative cell reference, on the other hand, does change when copied to another cell. It is indicated by just the column letter and row number (e.g., A1).


  • Select the destination cell for the sum
  • Enter the SUM formula
  • Understand absolute and relative cell references

Using the Paste Special Feature

When it comes to adding one column to another in Excel, the 'Paste Special' feature can be a powerful tool to streamline the process. Here's how to use it:

A. Copying the source column
  • Select the entire column that contains the values you want to add to another column.
  • Right-click on the selected column and choose 'Copy' from the context menu, or use the shortcut Ctrl + C.

B. Selecting the destination column
  • Click on the first cell of the destination column where you want to add the values.
  • If the destination column is empty, you can simply paste the values directly. If it already contains data, make sure there is enough space to accommodate the additional values.

C. Using the 'Paste Special' feature to add values
  • Once the destination cell is selected, right-click on it and choose 'Paste Special' from the context menu. Alternatively, you can go to the 'Home' tab, click on the 'Paste' dropdown menu, and select 'Paste Special' from there.
  • In the 'Paste Special' dialog box, select the 'Add' operation from the list of options.
  • Click 'OK' to apply the 'Add' operation, and the values from the source column will be added to the destination column without overwriting any existing data.

Utilizing the Power Query Tool

When it comes to manipulating data in Excel, the Power Query tool is a powerful feature that can help you easily add one column to another. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

A. Importing the data into Power Query
  • Selecting the data

    The first step is to select the data that you want to work with. This can be done by clicking on the "Data" tab in Excel and then selecting "From Table/Range" to import the data into Power Query.

  • Opening Power Query Editor

    Once the data is selected, the Power Query Editor window will open, allowing you to see and manipulate the data before loading it into the worksheet.

B. Adding custom columns using the 'Add Column' tab
  • Accessing the 'Add Column' tab

    Once in the Power Query Editor, you can find the 'Add Column' tab at the top of the window. This tab contains various options for adding custom columns to your data.

  • Using formulas and functions

    Within the 'Add Column' tab, you can use formulas and functions to create a new column based on the existing data. This can be done by selecting the appropriate function and providing the necessary parameters.

C. Merging the new column with the existing data
  • Applying the changes

    Once the new column is added, you can apply the changes and load the data back into the worksheet. This will merge the new column with the existing data, allowing you to see the combined result.

  • Refreshing the data

    If the original data is updated, you can easily refresh the data in Power Query to see the changes reflected in the merged column.

Removing Blank Rows

In this chapter, we will discuss how to identify and remove blank rows in an Excel spreadsheet.

A. Identifying blank rows

Before we can remove blank rows, we need to identify them within our spreadsheet. Blank rows can disrupt data analysis and visualization, so it's important to clean them out. To do this, we can visually scan the spreadsheet for empty cells, or we can use Excel's built-in tools to assist us.

B. Using the filter feature to isolate and delete blank rows

One of the most efficient ways to remove blank rows is by using Excel's filter feature. This tool allows us to isolate specific types of data, including blank cells, and then easily remove them from the spreadsheet.

1. Applying the filter

To begin, we need to select the entire dataset that we want to filter. This can be done by clicking on the top-left cell and dragging to the bottom-right cell. Once the data is selected, we can go to the "Data" tab and click on the "Filter" button. This will add drop-down arrows to the top row of each column, allowing us to filter the data based on specific criteria.

2. Filtering for blank rows

After the filter feature has been applied, we can click on the drop-down arrow for the column where we suspect there are blank rows. In the dropdown menu, we can unselect all options except for the "Blanks" option. This will filter the data to only show rows with blank cells in the selected column.

3. Deleting the blank rows

Once the blank rows have been isolated, we can select them by clicking on the row numbers on the left-hand side of the spreadsheet. After the rows are selected, we can right-click and choose "Delete" from the menu. This will remove the blank rows from the spreadsheet, leaving us with a clean dataset.


In this tutorial, we covered the different methods for adding one column to another in Excel. Whether using the SUM function, simple addition, or the Fill Handle, there are multiple ways to combine data in your spreadsheet. Regular data cleaning and organization are crucial for maintaining the accuracy and efficiency of your Excel sheets. By following these methods and staying on top of data management, you can ensure that your Excel data is always accurate and up-to-date.

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