Excel Tutorial: How To Make Excel Add Columns


Adding columns in Excel is a crucial skill for organizing and analyzing data efficiently. Whether you are creating a budget, tracking expenses, or analyzing sales figures, the ability to add and manipulate columns is a fundamental aspect of using Excel to its fullest potential. In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps to add columns in Excel so that you can harness the full power of this versatile spreadsheet program.

Key Takeaways

  • Adding and organizing columns in Excel is essential for efficient data analysis and management.
  • Removing blank rows is important for maintaining clean and organized data.
  • The 'Go To Special' feature and the 'Filter' function are valuable tools for identifying and deleting blank rows.
  • Finalizing the data includes verifying the removal of blank rows and saving the updated spreadsheet for future use.
  • Practicing the tutorial will lead to improved proficiency in using Excel for data organization and analysis.

Understanding Excel Columns

When working with Excel, understanding how to add and use columns is essential for efficient data organization and analysis. Columns are vertical sections in a spreadsheet that contain data or formulas. Each column is labeled with a letter, starting with A, B, C, and so on, making it easy to reference and locate specific data.

Explanation of how columns are used in Excel

Columns in Excel are used to:

  • Input and organize data: Columns allow users to input and organize data in a structured manner, making it easier to manage and analyze.
  • Perform calculations: Users can use columns to perform calculations by entering formulas that reference the data in specific columns.
  • Create charts and graphs: Columns are essential for creating visual representations of the data, such as charts and graphs, by selecting the data within specific columns.

Importance of removing blank rows for data analysis and organization

Removing blank rows is important for:

  • Data accuracy: Blank rows can skew data analysis and calculations, leading to inaccurate results. Removing them ensures the accuracy of the data.
  • Organization: Blank rows can make the spreadsheet appear cluttered and disorganized. Removing them enhances the overall organization of the data.
  • Efficiency: Working with a clean dataset, free of unnecessary blank rows, improves efficiency and productivity when performing data analysis and manipulations.

Steps to Remove Blank Rows

When working with large datasets in Excel, it is essential to have clean and organized data. One common issue that users face is dealing with blank rows within their worksheet. These blank rows can disrupt the flow of the data and make it difficult to analyze. Fortunately, Excel provides several methods to easily remove these blank rows.

A. Selecting the data range
  • Step 1: Open the Excel worksheet containing the data from which you want to remove the blank rows.
  • Step 2: Click and drag to select the range of cells that you want to work with. This will typically be the entire dataset or a specific range within the worksheet.

B. Using the 'Go To Special' feature
  • Step 1: After selecting the data range, click on the "Home" tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 2: In the "Editing" group, click on the "Find & Select" option.
  • Step 3: From the dropdown menu, choose "Go To Special".
  • Step 4: In the "Go To Special" dialog box, select "Blanks" and click "OK". This will select all the blank cells within the chosen data range.
  • Step 5: Right-click on any of the selected blank cells and choose "Delete" from the context menu. Then, select "Entire Row" and click "OK". This will remove all the selected blank rows from the data range.

C. Utilizing the 'Filter' function to identify and delete blank rows
  • Step 1: Select the entire dataset or the specific range of cells that you want to work with.
  • Step 2: Click on the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 3: In the "Sort & Filter" group, click on the "Filter" option. This will add dropdown arrows to the header of each column in the dataset.
  • Step 4: Click on the dropdown arrow in the column that may contain blank cells and uncheck the "Blanks" option. This will filter out all the non-blank rows, allowing you to easily identify and delete the blank rows.
  • Step 5: Once you have identified the blank rows, select and right-click on the row numbers, then choose "Delete" from the context menu. This will remove the selected blank rows from the dataset.

Utilizing the 'Go To Special' Feature

When working with Excel, there are various features and functions that can make your tasks easier and more efficient. One such feature is the 'Go To Special' functionality, which allows you to quickly select and manipulate specific types of cells within your data range. Let's take a look at how you can use this feature to add columns in Excel.

Accessing the 'Go To Special' feature in the 'Editing' section

  • Step 1: Open your Excel workbook and navigate to the worksheet where you want to add columns.
  • Step 2: Select the data range where you want to add the new columns.
  • Step 3: In the 'Home' tab, navigate to the 'Editing' section and click on the 'Find & Select' option.
  • Step 4: From the dropdown menu, select 'Go To Special'.

Selecting 'Blanks' to highlight all blank cells in the data range

  • Step 1: After accessing the 'Go To Special' feature, a dialog box will appear with various options for selecting specific types of cells.
  • Step 2: In the dialog box, select the 'Blanks' option and click 'OK'.
  • Step 3: All the blank cells within the selected data range will now be highlighted.

Deleting the selected blank cells

  • Step 1: Once the blank cells are highlighted, right-click on any of the selected blank cells and choose the 'Delete' option.
  • Step 2: A dialog box will appear asking if you want to shift the cells left, up, or entire row/column. Choose the appropriate option based on where you want to add the new columns.
  • Step 3: Click 'OK', and the selected blank cells will be deleted, creating space for the new columns to be added.

By utilizing the 'Go To Special' feature in Excel, you can easily identify and remove blank cells within your data range, making it simpler to add new columns and organize your data effectively.

Using the 'Filter' Function

When working with large datasets in Excel, it is important to know how to effectively use the 'Filter' function to manipulate and manage data. This tutorial will guide you through the steps of adding columns using the 'Filter' function.

A. Activating the filter in the 'Data' tab
  • Start by selecting the dataset in which you want to add a column.
  • Go to the 'Data' tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.
  • Click on the 'Filter' button to activate the filter function for the selected dataset.

B. Sorting the data to bring blank rows to the top
  • Once the filter is activated, you can sort the data to bring blank rows to the top of the dataset.
  • Click on the drop-down arrow in the header of the column where you want to add a new column.
  • Choose the 'Sort A to Z' option to bring the blank rows to the top of the dataset.

C. Selecting and deleting the blank rows
  • After sorting the data, you can easily select and delete the blank rows from the dataset.
  • Click on the row number to select the entire row of blank data.
  • Right-click and choose the 'Delete' option to remove the selected blank rows.

By following these steps, you can effectively use the 'Filter' function in Excel to add columns to your dataset. This method allows you to manipulate and manage your data efficiently, saving you time and effort in your Excel tasks.

Finalizing the Data

After adding columns to your Excel spreadsheet, it’s important to finalize the data to ensure that it is organized and clean. This involves verifying the removal of blank rows, saving the updated spreadsheet, and reviewing the overall data organization.

A. Verifying the removal of blank rows

Before saving the updated spreadsheet, it’s crucial to verify that any blank rows have been removed. This will ensure that your data is accurate and complete.

B. Saving the updated spreadsheet

Once you have verified the removal of blank rows, save the updated spreadsheet to avoid losing any of the changes you have made. Saving the file with a new name can also be beneficial in case you need to reference the original data.

C. Reviewing the overall data organization and cleanliness

Finally, take the time to review the overall organization and cleanliness of the data. This may involve checking for any inconsistencies or errors that need to be addressed before finalizing the spreadsheet.


Recap: Adding columns and removing blank rows in Excel is essential for organizing and analyzing data efficiently. By adding columns, you can perform calculations, create summaries, and make your data more visually appealing.

Encouragement: I encourage you to practice the tutorial we've covered to improve your Excel proficiency. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will become with adding columns, removing blank rows, and manipulating your data to suit your specific needs. Excel is a powerful tool, and the more you know how to use it, the more you can accomplish in your professional and personal projects.

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