Fastest ways to insert multiple rows in Excel

Inserting multiple rows in Excel may be one of the numerous tasks you come across daily. In today's article, I hope to inspire shortcut-oriented users by showing some really quick ways to add new rows in Excel. You'll also see how to solve this task using standard menus and Ribbon buttons and how to add empty rows between multiple data lines.

If you work in Excel actively, you know that most of the tables are constantly changing. Very often, they get modified when you add new details and as a result insert multiple empty rows for them. If you add rows below or above certain data in your spreadsheets every now and then, the standard Insert command looks like the most evident solution. However if pasting blank lines is your day-to-day or even hour-to-hour routine in Excel, insert-row shortcuts are by far more effective.

This article will be useful both for the shortcut people and for users who prefer standard Excel options located on the Ribbon and within different menu lists. You will find several solutions how to insert new rows in Excel with shortcuts and learn how to add blank rows between existing lines with data.

Insert multiple rows in Excel using the standard menu options

Below you'll find the most obvious ways for pasting blank rows which is employing the Insert functionality.

  1. Pick one or several rows where the blanks will appear. To do this, select the destination cells and use the Shift + Space shortcut to turn them into rows.
    Use Shift + Space shortcut to select entire rows

    Tip. You can also select entire lines using the row number buttons. You'll see the number of the highlighted rows next to the last button.
    Select entire lines using the row number buttons
  2. Go to the Home tab in Excel and click on the Insert icon.
    Click on the Insert icon to add multiple rows in Excel

    You will see your table in Excel with the rows inserted below the necessary line.
    See your table in Excel with the rows inserted below the necessary line

You can get the same result if you use the Insert menu option. Please see the steps below.

  1. Select the cells where the empty rows need to appear and press Shift + Space.
  2. When you pick the correct number of rows, right-click within the selection and choose the Insert option from the menu list.
    Choose the Insert option from the menu list

    Tip. If your cells contain any formatting, use the Insert Options icon to match the format.
    Use the Insert Options icon to match the format

Again, you'll see multiple rows inserted in your table in Excel. Now you can enter the necessary details to get your report ready.

Excel - Insert row shortcuts to speed up pasting blanks

If you think that the ways described above are fast enough, check out the below options to see what is really quick. I'll share how to insert new rows in Excel with keyboard shortcuts.

The first shortcut I'd like to cover is the one repeating the Ribbon option Insert Sheet Rows.

  1. Select the necessary number of rows where the blank lines will appear by picking the corresponding cells and pressing Shift + Space. The current content will be moved down to make room for the new rows.
    Use Shift + Space shortcut to select entire rows
  2. Then press Alt + I. Then, holding the Alt button press R.
    Press Alt+I then, holding the Alt button press R

Voila! You can see the new rows added below. Please keep reading - the most interesting details are ahead.
See your table in Excel with the rows inserted below the necessary line

Use numerical keypad shortcut to add rows in Excel

Even if you don't enter large amounts of numeric data, you can still benefit from using the number pad. The Excel insert row shortcut I show below will work only if you press the Plus key on the numerical keypad.

  1. Select the range in Excel to insert a new row. To do this left-click on the row number button next to the fist cell of the selection and extend the range keeping the left mouse button pressed.
  2. Now press Ctrl + Plus on the numerical pad.
    Press Ctrl + Plus on the numerical pad

    If you prefer to use the main keyboard, you can get the same results if you use the Ctrl + Shift + Plus on the main pad.
    Use the Ctrl + Shift + Plus on the main pad

    Tip. If you need to add numerous rows at a time, like one or two hundred, take the advantage of the F4 button. It repeats your last action. For example, if you want to insert 100 empty rows, select a range with 10 rows, use the shortcut you like to insert the blanks and then just press F4 ten times.

Special shortcut to insert rows in Excel if there's data to the right of your table

Ctrl + Plus hotkey is fast and reliable, but if you have data to the right of your main table like on the screenshot below, it may insert blanks where you wouldn't like them to be and break the structure.
Your table may have data to the right, where you wouldn't like to insert the blanks

If that's your case, in this part you'll find a solution for inserting multiple new rows in your Excel table and keeping the structure of the data next to your list as is.

  1. Format your data as Excel Table using the shortcut Ctrl + T, or go to the Home tab -> Format as Table button and pick the style that suites you best.
    Use this icon to convert a range of cells to a table with its style

    You will see the Create Table dialog box that will help you select the necessary range.
    Use the Create Table dialog box to select the necessary range

    That's how your data look like after being formatted as Excel Table:
    See your data formatted as Table

  2. Now that your list is formatted, select a range within your table.
    Select a range within your data table
  3. Hold the Alt key, first press H, then press I and finally - A. This is a shortcut for the option Insert Table Rows Above.
    Use the shortcut for the option Insert Table Rows Above

    Tip. You can achieve the same result if you select the necessary range and press Ctrl + Plus on the numerical keypad.

As you can see, new rows didn't appear between the rows to the right:
Select a range within your data table

Add empty rows between multiple data lines in Excel

Suppose you have a report in Excel and need to insert a blank line between each of the existing rows in your table. There are two ways to solve this task - the first will work for relatively small lists and the second - for bigger ones.

If your spreadsheet is not so large, look at the steps below:

  1. Keep the Ctrl key pressed and manually select each row with data by clicking on the row number.
    Keep the Ctrl key pressed and manually select each row
  2. Press the Insert button on the Ribbon or use any Excel shortcut I listed above to see the results.
    Press the Insert icon to see the results

The second option will suite better if you have a big data table.

  1. Create a helper column. Enter 1 and 2 in the starting cells, grab the fill handle and drag it to the last data cell.
    Drag the fill handle to the last data cell
  2. Now copy the series in the helper column and paste the range just below the last cell.
    Copy and paste the series in the helper column
  3. Select the entire table, go to the Data tab in Excel and press the Sort button.
    Go to the Data tab in Excel and press the Sort button
  4. On the window that will appear choose to sort by your Helper column (in my example its column D) -> Values -> Smallest to Largest.
    Select the necessary settings on the Sort window
  5. Click OK and see the results. Empty rows will appear between the lines with data.
    See empty rows appear between the rows with data

Now you can delete the helper column.

That's it! You learned several shortcuts to insert multiple rows in Excel 2016, 2013, 2010 and other versions. Now you know all the fastest ways for adding blank rows to your data. I'll readily answer any questions you may have. Feel free to post your query below. Be happy and excel in Excel!

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