How to Select Every Other Row in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Selecting every other row in Excel can sound like a daunting task, but it’s quite simple once you get the hang of it. You’ll primarily be using Excel’s built-in functions and a bit of creativity to make this work. With these steps, you can easily highlight or manipulate every other row in your spreadsheet for easier data management.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on Selecting Every Other Row in Excel

Here’s a straightforward guide that will help you select every other row in Excel, making data organization a breeze.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

Start by opening the Excel file that contains the data you want to manipulate.

Once you have your spreadsheet open, make sure you can see all the rows clearly to make the next steps easier to follow.

Step 2: Insert a Helper Column

Add a new column next to your data set. This will help you mark every other row.

Label this new column something simple like "Helper". You’ll be using it to apply a formula that will differentiate between the rows.

Step 3: Enter the Formula

In the first cell of your new ‘Helper’ column, enter the formula =MOD(ROW(),2).

This formula will return either a 0 or a 1, depending on whether the row number is even or odd.

Step 4: Copy the Formula Down

Drag the fill handle down the ‘Helper’ column to apply the formula to all rows.

This will ensure every row is marked with either a 0 or a 1, making it easy to identify every other row.

Step 5: Filter the Rows

Use Excel’s sorting and filtering functions to filter out the rows marked with a 1 (or 0).

Click on the filter icon in the header of your ‘Helper’ column and uncheck the box for 1 (or 0). This will hide every other row.

Step 6: Select the Filtered Rows

Finally, select all the visible rows by clicking and dragging down the row numbers.

These rows are every other row in your original data set. You can now manipulate or format them as needed.

After completing these steps, all the rows you didn’t filter will be selected. This makes it easier to apply formatting, make bulk deletions, or perform other data operations.

Tips for Selecting Every Other Row in Excel

  • Stay Organized: Always label your helper columns so you don’t get lost.
  • Double-Check Formulas: Ensure your formulas are correctly entered to avoid any errors.
  • Use Shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with Excel shortcuts to speed up this process.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Try this on a sample spreadsheet first to get a feel for the steps.
  • Back Up Your Data: Always make a copy of your original data before making bulk changes.

Frequently Asked Questions on Selecting Every Other Row in Excel

Why do I need a helper column?

Using a helper column makes it easier to filter and select specific rows without affecting your original data.

What does the MOD function do?

The MOD function returns the remainder after a number is divided by a divisor. In this case, it helps identify even and odd rows.

Can I delete the helper column after I’m done?

Yes, once you’ve selected and manipulated the rows, you can delete the helper column.

What if my rows have merged cells?

Merged cells can complicate this process. It’s best to unmerge cells before starting.

Is there a way to automate this?

Yes, you can create a macro to automate the process if you frequently need to select every other row.


  1. Open Your Excel Spreadsheet.
  2. Insert a Helper Column.
  3. Enter the Formula.
  4. Copy the Formula Down.
  5. Filter the Rows.
  6. Select the Filtered Rows.


Selecting every other row in Excel is a task that might seem tricky at first, but with a helper column and a simple formula, it becomes straightforward. Whether you need this for formatting, data analysis, or cleaning up your spreadsheet, the steps outlined above will help you achieve your goal efficiently.

Remember, mastering Excel functions like these not only makes your work easier but also enhances your productivity. Don’t be afraid to experiment and practice on sample data. Happy Excel-ing!

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