How to manage columns in Excel

If you work with tables that have numerous columns, you may want to easily change their order without copying and pasting each column separately. The Column Manager tool creates a list of all columns to easily navigate, autofit, and move them by drag'n'dropping.

Before you start

We strongly recommend creating a backup copy of your sheet. Always remember: after moving or deleting columns, you will not be able to undo the changes.

Start Column Manager

Open the worksheet that contains the columns you want to manage. To start the add-in, click the Column Manager icon on the Ablebits Data tab in the Manage group:

Start Column Manager from Ultimate Suite for Excel.

Manage your Excel columns

You can see the Column Manager pane with the list of columns in the selected table. Here you will find the column names (the headers or standard Excel letters) and the range they take:

The Column Manager pane.

  • To navigate to the needed column, click on it in the list and it will be automatically selected in your table.
  • To change the column order in your table, drag-and-drop the columns to the needed position in the list.
  • Another way to move the columns is selecting the needed one(s) in the add-in pane and using the Ctrl+Up arrow or Ctrl+Down arrow shortcuts.
  • To make a column the first one or the last one in your table, select it in the add-in pane and use the Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End shortcuts accordingly.
  • To autofit your columns automatically, select them in the add-in pane and press the Ctrl+Right arrow keyboard shortcut.
Tip. Press the Ctrl button on your keyboard to select several columns and manage them all at once.

Besides, you can use the icons at the top of the pane:

The Column Manager toolbar.

  1. To move the column(s) to the left or to the right, select the column(s) of interest and click the Move Up or Move Down icon.
  2. To move the column(s) to the far left or to the far right in your table, i.e. to put them first or last, select them and use the Move to Top or Move to Bottom icon.
  3. You can make the column width automatically fit its longest entry by clicking the Auto Fit icon.
  4. If you need to add a column, select an existing one in the add-in pane or in the worksheet and click the Insert icon. The new column will appear to the right of the initially selected one.
  5. To remove a column, click on it in the add-in pane or in your worksheet and click the Delete icon.
Note. The Column Manager tool does not work with filtered columns not to break the structure of your worksheet. If you have a filter applied, just remove it and then use Column Manager.