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How To Swap Columns In Excel

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  • Published on:
    August 8, 2023
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  • Last updated:
    August 13, 2023
How to swap columns in excel - ajleix full guide on how to do it with setp by step guides - banner

This article explains how to swap columns in Excel, which can improve your ability to manipulate and analyze data. Understanding how to rearrange columns efficiently can save you time and prevent data integrity issues. Let’s explore the essential concepts and methods to master this essential Excel feature.

Understanding Excel Columns

Before diving into the techniques of column swapping, it’s crucial to grasp the significance of Excel columns in organizing data. In Excel, letters (A, B, C, etc.) label columns and categorize and separate data sets.

Difference between excel rows and excel columns - infographic

Rows, on the other hand, represent horizontal data entries. The structured arrangement of columns and rows allows for seamless data analysis and visualization.

Related Article: How To Convert Row To Column?

How To Swap Columns in Excel?

1. Manage Columns Using Drag and Drop

One of the simplest methods to swap column data is through drag-and-drop functionality. By selecting the column header and dragging it to a new location, you can easily reorder the columns.

Drag and drop the column to rearrange columns in excel spreadsheet - example from Excel

Move columns by dragging is the most efficient method to swap columns and rows in excel. However, it’s essential to be cautious when performing this action, as accidental data loss can occur. You will lose the existing data once you drag the new column on top. Switch columns without replacing existent data in Excel table.

Related Article: Move Row In Your Spreadsheet

2. Cut and Paste Columns

To move a column to a different location, you can use the cut-and-paste technique. This involves selecting the desired column, cutting it from its original position, and then pasting it into the new location. The Cut feature in Excel allows you to move the entire column without leaving any data behind.

Time needed: 1 minute

How to cut and paste columns in your Excel spreadsheet to replace columns

  1. Right-click on the column you want to move

    Screenshot from excel how to copy paste columns

  2. Choose Cut from the Excel dropdown

  3. Right-click on the column where you want to swap column location

  4. Click Paste

    Paste the cut columns in the new place - how to swap columns in excel spreadsheet - blog - ajelix

Related Article: How To Copy Formula Down?

3. Swap Excel Columns Using Copy and Insert Cut Cells

The Copy and Insert Cut Cells function provides an alternative approach to swapping columns. To move data columns without losing the data, copy and paste the column to a different place.

1. Right-click on the column you want to move and choose Copy from the dropdown

how to swap columns in excel - screenshot from excel with copy and insert cells in excel spreadsheet

2. Right-click on the new column and select Insert Copied Cells.

Insert copied cells function in microsoft excel - how to arrange columns

Related Article: Copy Merged Cells in Excel

4. Change Columns With Formula & Transpose Column Into Row

Excel’s Transpose function allows you to change column direction and turn horizontal into vertical and vice versa. This feature is particularly useful when you need to move cells in excel for better visualization and analysis.

1.Write =TRANSPOSE(array) in any cell you want to convert column or row.

Transpose function in excel to move column or row - ajelix guide

2. Transpose the array that you want and convert all your data. This method will help you move columns without changing formula in Microsoft Excel.

Advanced Techniques for Column Swapping

1. Using Excel VBA Macros

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros is a powerful tool that enables automation and customization in Excel. If you don’t have any experience try using AI-powered script generators, such as Ajelix VBA script generator. You can swap column with VBA automatically that will change cells to left or to right in Microsoft 365.

1. Write your requirements for Ajelix AI

Explain what you want to accomplish and AI will generate ready-to-use script. That you can easily add in your workbook to automate workflows.

Add requirements for AI to generate good VBA script - ajelix guide

2. Get The Code From AI

After explaining the task, AI provides a script for you to add to the workbook.

Script that moves columns - generated by Ajelix

Copy the code:

Sub SwapColumns()
Dim ws As Worksheet
Set ws = ThisWorkbook.ActiveSheet

Dim lastRow As Long
lastRow = ws.Cells(ws.Rows.Count, "E").End(xlUp).Row

Dim temp As Variant
Dim i As Long

For i = 1 To lastRow
    temp = ws.Range("E" & i).Value
    ws.Range("E" & i).Value = ws.Range("G" & i).Value
    ws.Range("G" & i).Value = temp
Next i

End Sub

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

1. Dealing with Merged Cells:

Merged cells can complicate swap cells in excel functionality and may lead to unintended results. Make sure there are no merged cells when you drag the column and drop the columns.

2. Handling Formula References:

Column swapping can affect formula references. That can happen when using Transpose function for cell content change.

3. Fixing Errors and Unexpected Results:

If you encounter errors or unexpected outcomes while swapping columns. Visit our article about common issue fixing to swap column places.


Mastering the art of swapping columns in Excel is a valuable skill for any data analyst or Excel user. Learn various methods and techniques to simplify data manipulation, increase productivity, and improve data management skills. Choose the appropriate method based on your specific scenarios, and excel in Excel column swapping.

Learn more about Excel and Google Sheets hacks in other articles. Stay connected with us on social media and receive more daily tips and updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I swap multiple columns simultaneously in Excel?

Yes, you can swap multiple columns simultaneously in Excel by selecting and dragging them together to the desired location.

2. How can I create a custom VBA macro to automate column swapping?

You can create a custom VBA macro in Excel by accessing the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor. Writing the code for column swapping, and running the macro to automate the process.

3. What is the Transpose function, and how do I apply it for column swapping?

The Transpose function in Excel allows you to convert rows into columns and vice versa. To swap columns, select and copy the data, choose the destination range, right-click, select “Paste Special,” and check “Transpose.”

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