How to Move a Column in Excel 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Moving a column in Excel 2013 is a simple task that can be done in just a few steps. First, select the column you want to move. Second, cut the column by right-clicking and selecting “Cut” or pressing Ctrl+X. Third, select the location where you want to move the column, right-click, and select “Insert Cut Cells.” And just like that, you’ve moved your column!

After completing this action, the column you moved will now be in the new location you selected. All data within the column will be preserved, and any formulas or references to the cells in the column will be updated automatically to reflect the new location.


Excel 2013 is a powerful tool used by individuals and businesses worldwide for organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. Whether you’re a student working on a project, a small business owner keeping track of your finances, or a data analyst at a large corporation, Excel is likely a part of your daily routine. One of the many features that make Excel so versatile is its ability to manipulate data easily. This includes the basic yet essential task of moving columns within a spreadsheet.

Why is this important, you might ask? Well, as your data grows and evolves, you may find the need to rearrange your columns for better readability, comparison, or presentation purposes. Perhaps you need to group similar data together, or maybe you want your spreadsheet to follow a particular sequence. Whatever the reason, knowing how to move a column quickly and efficiently can save you time and hassle. And let’s face it, in the fast-paced world we live in, who doesn’t want to save time? So let’s dive in and learn how to move a column in Excel 2013.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Move a Column in Excel 2013

Before we begin the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. Moving a column in Excel will reposition the entire column to a different place in your spreadsheet. This process is reversible, so don’t worry about making permanent changes.

Step 1: Select the Column

Click on the column header of the column you want to move.

Selecting the column is crucial because it tells Excel exactly what data you’re looking to relocate. The column header is the lettered cell at the top of each column. Clicking on it will highlight the entire column, indicating that it’s selected and ready to be moved.

Step 2: Cut the Column

Right-click the selected column and choose “Cut,” or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+X.

Cutting the column removes it from its original location, but don’t worry. It’s not gone for good. Excel temporarily stores it in its clipboard, ready to be pasted elsewhere. The ‘Cut’ function is different from ‘Copy’ as it intends to move the data, not duplicate it.

Step 3: Insert the Cut Column

Right-click the column header to the right of where you want to move the column, then select “Insert Cut Cells.”

This step is where the magic happens. By inserting the cut cells, you’re telling Excel to shift the cells to the right and make room for the column you’re moving. It’s important to select the column to the right of the desired location because Excel will always insert the cut column to the left of the selected column.


Simplifies Data OrganizationMoving columns can significantly improve the organization of your spreadsheet, making it easier to read and analyze your data.
Enhances PresentationA well-organized spreadsheet is more visually appealing and can make a better impression when presenting your data to others.
Increases EfficiencyBeing able to quickly rearrange your data saves time, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.

Moving columns can transform a chaotic spreadsheet into a neatly-arranged masterpiece. This not only makes your data easier to work with but also simplifies the process of identifying trends and drawing conclusions.

When it comes to presenting data, first impressions matter. A spreadsheet where related data is grouped together in a logical order can be much more convincing and professional.

Time is of the essence, especially in the business world. By mastering simple tasks like moving columns, you can work more efficiently and avoid getting bogged down by data management.


Risk of Data MisplacementIf you’re not careful, you may end up moving the column to the wrong location, which can lead to confusion and errors.
Potential Formatting IssuesMoving a column can sometimes disrupt the formatting of your spreadsheet, requiring additional adjustments.
Limited Undo HistoryExcel has a limited number of undo steps, so if you make several changes after moving a column, you may not be able to revert to the original layout.

Accidents happen, and one wrong move can cause a cascade of issues. Always double-check the location you’re moving your column to reduce the risk of errors.

Excel is great, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes moving columns can mess with your carefully applied formats. Be prepared to do a little extra tweaking to get things back in order.

Remember, Excel’s undo feature has a memory limit. If you move a column and then perform several other actions, you might not be able to undo the move. Make sure you’re confident in your changes before moving on.

Additional Information

Now that you know how to move a column in Excel 2013, let’s cover a few extra tips that can come in handy. For instance, if you’re moving multiple contiguous columns, you can select them all by clicking on the first column header, holding down the shift key, and clicking on the last column header in the range. Then, you can cut and insert them as a whole unit.

Another useful trick is using the “Insert Copied Cells” option if you want to duplicate a column in a new location instead of moving it. This can be useful when you want to keep the original data intact but also need a copy of it elsewhere in your spreadsheet.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you work with Excel, the more comfortable you’ll become with these functions. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different features and discover new ways to streamline your spreadsheet tasks. And of course, always keep a backup of your data before making significant changes, just in case things don’t go as planned.


  1. Select the column
  2. Cut the column
  3. Insert the cut column

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I move multiple columns at once?

Yes, you can move multiple columns by selecting them together before cutting and inserting them into the new location.

What happens to the data in the cells when I move a column?

The data within the column will move with the column. All the content, including formulas and formatting, will be preserved.

Can I undo the move if I make a mistake?

Yes, you can undo the move by clicking the “Undo” button or using the Ctrl + Z keyboard shortcut. However, be cautious as Excel has a limited undo history.

Will moving a column affect other worksheets in my workbook?

No, moving a column will only affect the current worksheet in which you are working. Other worksheets will remain unchanged.

Is there a way to lock columns so they cannot be moved?

Yes, you can protect your worksheet, which will prevent columns from being moved. This can be done by going to the “Review” tab and selecting “Protect Sheet.”


Moving a column in Excel 2013 is a straightforward process that can enhance the functionality and appearance of your spreadsheet. Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or a newcomer to the software, mastering this task will contribute to your overall productivity and efficiency.

Remember to select, cut, and insert with precision, and don’t be afraid to explore additional Excel features that can further optimize your workflow. Happy spreadsheeting!

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