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Drag and Drop Table Rows and Columns in MS Word

Friday, February 25th, 2011 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS Word

MS Word: Manually Move Table Rows or Columns Without Copy and Paste

Let’s face it, there are just times when the table you’ve set up now seems to be “out of order”. You find yourself wishing that the 3rd row was now the 5th row and that the 4th column should have actually have been the 2nd.

Now what?

Must we add a table, row, or column so that we can copy and paste the information into its new home, and then go back to delete the unused space?

Well… we could, but I vote for a drag & drop approach for moving the stuff around instead.

Yeah, you read that correctly – we can drag and drop entire columns and rows of data in a table without all that hassle.

I’m sure many of you have tried only to find yourself selecting not just one column but two or three. So how exactly are we to drag the column elsewhere in the table when we can’t seem to get beyond the selecting part?

The key to the move is in where you hold the column or row once it’s selected.

You can’t just select it then keep the mouse button held down while you drag.

All that does is to extend your selection.

What you need to do is to select the row or column then release the mouse button.

Now we move into the selected cells with the mouse pointer to drag and drop.

When moving a column, I found that I had to place the pointer over any cell in the column then click, hold & drag left or right. You won’t see the data moving as you go, just a cursor moving to indicate how far you’ve gone with the dragging part of the work.

Upon releasing the mouse button, you’ll find your entire column is now to the left of the column where you stopped the drag process.

If you’re looking to move an entire row, start by selecting it from the left margin, next to the table.

With the row selected, click and hold the mouse button somewhere within the leftmost cell.

Now drag it up or down.

When you release the mouse button, the entire row will be relocated.

(Be sure to use the leftmost cell – I found that any other cell in the row will move just the data from that point to the end of the row, and makes quite a mess when it’s dropped into a new location!)

That’s it… No copy & paste, just a drag & drop to rearrange your table into a better order then you started with.

~ April

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