How To Move A Column In Google Sheets

Google Sheets offers several methods for moving columns around on a spreadsheet. It’s common to come back to data and decide the way you organized it before no longer makes the most sense.

Moving columns is a practical way to make a spreadsheet more presentable.

For example, you may have a spreadsheet like this that contains information about registered users on your website:

Dataset to show how to move a column in Google Sheets

Hypothetically speaking, you may want to see if there’s a trend with “car make” and what “city” a person lives in, but the “shirt size” column is between the two.

So to make it easier to read, you may want to put those two columns next to each other.

The following three processes explain how to move a column in Google Sheets. Note that all three methods work for moving one or multiple columns at a time.

However, if you’re moving multiple columns at the same time they need to be physically next to each other on the spreadsheet.

Non-consecutive columns will not move together, Google Sheets will just move the last selected column.

Move a Column with Drag

The drag and drop method is an effective way to move columns around a Google Sheet regardless of how many columns it has. However, this method can get difficult to control when you’re moving a column across multiple screen scrolls worth of columns.

  1. Select one or more columns you want to move. Do this by left-clicking on the column’s header letter. The example below shows highlighting column E.Select the Column to move
  2. Leave the mouse cursor over the column letters until it turns into a hand icon.
  3. After about a second the hand icon will appear, now left-click on the letter and use the guide bar to select the columns you want to insert the selection between. The example shows moving column E between columns C and D.Drag and move the column

Google Sheets has moved the “car make” from column E to column D and all columns to its right have been moved over accordingly.

If you’re moving a column just one column to the right or to the left, it like you have swapped the two columns by inter-changing the positions.

Note: In this example, we have moved a single column, but you can also select multiple consecutive columns and move these together using the above steps.

Move a Column with the Move Left/Move Right Method

Google Sheets features a menu option that nudges a column selection one to the left or one to the right. This method is ideal for minor adjustments.

  1. Select one or more columns. The example shows selecting columns D, E, and F.Select the columns you want to move
  2. Open the “Edit” menu and select “Move column(s) left” or “Move column(s) right.”Click on Edit and then click on Move Columns

The following example demonstrates what happens when choosing “Move columns right.” Now columns D, E, and F all move to the right of column G. Because of the shift, column G is now column D.

Result after moving the column

Google Sheets automatically shifts the columns back over instead of creating whitespace.

Move a Column with Cut, Insert, and Paste

The “drag” and “move” methods don’t work as well when dealing with spreadsheets that have a substantial amount of columns. They can either be difficult to track or take a long time to accomplish a move across several columns.

Using the “Cut,” “Insert,” and “Paste” commands to move a column work well when the other methods are cumbersome.

  1. Select one or more columns you want to move. The example shows selecting column C.Select the column you want to shift
  2. Next, apply “Cut” to the column by opening the “Edit” menu and selecting the “Cut” command. Alternatively, you can use the “Ctrl+X” keyboard shortcut (“CMD+X” on Mac).Click on Cut
  3. Click on a destination column header next to where you want to move the selected column. The example shows selecting column G.Click the destination column
  4. Right-click on the selection and choose “Insert # left” or “Insert # right” in the direction you want to move the column relative to the destination column. The example shows choosing “Insert 1 left.”Insert column left or right
  5. Google Sheets will automatically highlight the new column. Open the “Edit” menu and select “Paste” to move the “cut” column into the “new” column. Alternatively, use the “Ctrl+V” shortcut (“CMD+V on Mac). Paste the cut column
  6. The original column you “cut” from is now blank. You can remove it by right-clicking on the blank column and choosing the “Delete column” option from the pop-up list.Delete column

The above three methods offer flexible techniques for moving columns around in Google Sheets.

Following these steps makes sure you’re moving all of a column’s contents so you can avoid splitting cells and messing up spreadsheets.

I hope you find the methods in this tutorial helpful!

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:

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