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Managing Cells

This chapter covers how to manage cells, rows, and columns. 

Practice Spreadsheet

Use this workbook for the chapter.

Note: This is the same workbook used in the Navigation Shortcuts chapter.

Deleting Data in Cells

To delete data in a cell, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cell you want to empty.
  2. Press the Backspace key.
    1. Any content in that cell will be cleared out.

Deleting Cells

Sometimes, you need to delete cells themselves, and not just the contents in them. Selecting a cell and pressing the Delete key or Backspace key will delete the content in cells, but the cells themselves remain. To delete cells, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cells you want to delete.
  2. Right-click on the selected cells, and select Delete. (See Figure 10.1)
    1. The selected cells will be deleted, and a dialog box will appear, asking what to do with the information that was contained in those cells.
      BUS115_image_10.1.jpg
       Figure 10.1
       
  3. Select Shift cells left in the dialog box.
  4. Select OK. (See Figure 10.2)
    1. Excel will move the information in the cells that were to the right of the deleted cells over to the left.

Other options in this dialogue box include Shift Cells Up, which will shift the other cells in the column up; Entire Row, which will delete the entire row the selected cells are found in; and Entire Column, which will delete the entire column the selected cells are found in. Be careful when deleting cells of data, because it can make your data mismatched, and it will leave an empty space at the end of the data. 

BUS115_image_10.2.png
Figure 10.2

 

Deleting Rows and Columns Quickly

There is a quicker way to delete entire rows and columns without having to bring up the dialog box. To delete an entire column more quickly, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the letter of the column that you want to delete.
    1. This will select the entire column automatically.
  2. Select Delete. (See Figure 10.3
    1. The entire selected column will be deleted.
      BUS115_image_10.3.png
       Figure 10.3
       

To delete an entire row more quickly, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the row number that you want to delete.
  2. Excel will automatically select the entire row.
  3. Select Delete. (See Figure 10.4)
    1. The entire row will be deleted.
      BUS115_image_10.4.png
      Figure 10.4
 

Inserting New Cells, Rows, and Columns

You can also insert new cells as well as delete them. To insert a new cell into a worksheet, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click a cell.
  2. Select Insert. (See Figure 10.5)
    1. A dialog box will appear.
      BUS115_image_10.5.png
       Figure 10.5
       
  3. Select Shift Cells Down. (See Figure 10.6)
  4. Select OK.
    1. Excel will insert a cell above the cell you right-clicked on and shift the rest of the cells down.
       Figure 10.6
 

To insert an entirely new column, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click a cell.
  2. Select Insert. (See Figure 10.5)
    1. A dialog box will appear.
  3. Select Entire Column. (See Figure 10.7)
  4. Select OK.
    1. Excel will insert a new column to the left of the cell you right-clicked.
      Caption
       

To make a new column more quickly, use the following steps:

  1. Select a column, and right-click it. 
  2. Select Insert. (See Figure 10.8)
    1. Excel will make a new column to the right of the one you right-clicked.
      BUS115_image_10.8.png
      Figure 10.8
       

To add a new row, use the following steps:

  1. Select a row, and right-click it. 
  2. Select Insert. (See Figure 10.9)
    1. Excel will create a new row above the row you right-clicked.
BUS115_image_10.9.png
Figure 10.9
 

Changing the Width of a Column

If a column is too small or too big, you can change the width of the column to fit your needs. To change the width of a column, use the following steps:

  1. Select a column, and right-click it.
  2. Select Column Width. (See Figure 10.10)
    1. A dialog box will appear.
      BUS115_image_10.10.png
      Figure 10.10
       
  3. Type the desired width.
    1. For practice, type 20. (See Figure 10.11)
  4. Select OK.
    1. Excel will change the width of the column.
BUS115_image_10.11.png
Figure 10.11
 

Another way to change the width of a column is to hover your cursor over the line that divides the column at the top, and then click and drag the column divider left or right to make it bigger or smaller. A dotted line will appear as a guide that can help show the new width of the cell before you release it. A box will pop up, showing the new measurement of the width as you move it to the left or right. (See Figure 10.12)

BUS115_image_10.12.png
Figure 10.12
 

In general, it is best to make the columns wide enough so you can see everything in the column. A quick way to fix the width of a column to the correct size without having to guess how wide it should be is to double-click the letter at the top of the column. Excel will auto-fit the column so that it can show all of the information within the cells in that column. Excel will check every cell in the column. Even if you have a long bit of information off the view of that page, when you auto-fit that column, it will take that into account. You can do the same thing with rows, by dragging to change its height or right-clicking and choosing Row Height. (See Figure 10.13)

BUS115_image_10.13.png
Figure 10.13
 

Making Comments and Notes

Next, we’ll look at commenting in a cell. A comment is something that can help a user to better understand what a cell means, or it can help you to remember what you’ve done in that cell. To add a comment to the price column, use the following steps:

BUS115_image_10.14.jpg
Figure 10.14
  1. Select the Price cell.
  2. Select the Review tab on the toolbar. 
  3. Select New Comment or New Note. (See Figure 10.14)
    1. Comments allow you to notify people and work collaboratively.
    2. Notes are just built-in boxes that appear while the user is hovering over something.
  4. Type your message in the comment box or note box. 
    1. For this exercise, type Negotiated on day 1.
      1. This will let people know that that is the assumption that is being made in the price.

Every time you hover over a box that has a note attached to it, you will be able to see the note. (See Figure 10.15

BUS115_image_10.15.jpg
Figure 10.15
 

You can also mention another user of the document using comments. To do this to the cell that contains Order Qty, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cell that contains Order Qty.
  2. Select the Review tab on the toolbar. 
  3. Select New Comment. (See Figure 10.14)
  4. Type the @ symbol and the name of who you want to mention in the comment. (See Figure 10.16)
  5. Type a message.
    1. For this practice, type When were these updated?
      BUS115_image_10.16.png
       Figure 10.16
       

When the comment is saved, the person who was mentioned in the comment will get a notification in their account inbox. As people reply to the comments, a chain of messages will appear with the original comment when the user hovers over the cell.

Deleting Comments and Notes

To delete a comment or note, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cell that has the comment or note you wish to delete.
  2. Select Delete on the toolbar. (See Figure 10.17)
BUS115_image_10.17.jpg
Figure 10.17

Editing Comments and Notes

To edit a comment or note, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the comment or note.
  2. Select Edit Note. (See Figure 10.18)
    1. For comments, the options bar will say Edit Comment.
      BUS115_image_10.18.png
      Figure 10.18
       
  3. Type any edits into the box.

You can also use this options bar to reply to a comment or delete a comment. If you are the comment author, there will also be an Edit button on the comment when you hover over the cell with the comment. (See Figure 10.19)

BUS115_image_10.19.png
Figure 10.19
 

Showing All Comments

Sometimes when someone shares a new workbook with you, you might want to see all of the comments or notes that have been put onto the workbook. To see all the comments on the worksheet, use the following steps:

BUS115_image_10.20.jpg
Figure 10.20
  1. Select the Review tab on the toolbar.
  2. Select the Show Comments button. (See Figure 10.20)
    1. All comments that have been made on the worksheet will appear on the right in a dialog box. (See Figure 10.21)
      BUS115_image_10.21.jpg
       Figure 10.21
       

To see all of the notes on a worksheet, use the following steps:

  1. Select the Review tab from the toolbar. 
  2. Select the Notes option,
    1. An options bar will appear.
  3. Select Show All Notes. (See Figure 10.22)
    1. All notes will pop up over the cells they correspond to on the worksheet. 
BUS115_image_10.22.jpg
Figure 10.22

These are two different options to share information within a given worksheet to help either yourself or someone using it understand what’s going on.

Supplemental Resource

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