How to add columns on google sheets

As of this writing, the default number of columns in Google Sheets is 29 columns.

I need more than 29 columns.

I would like to add N columns where N is something like 10 to 30 columns.

My request is similar to the “add N more rows bottom” button at the bottom of each Google Sheet GUI.

Is there a way to add N columns via the default GUI? If yes, how?

6 Answers 6

  1. Select a column where you want to add your N columns (left of there or right of there)
  2. Shift-select the N number of columns that you want to add
  3. Right-click
  4. Click on “Insert N columns on left” or “Insert N columns on right”

How to add columns on google sheets

To add N number of Columns > Right Click on the top left corner of the sheet so that it selects the entire spreadsheet > you will see the option to add 1000 Rows and 26 Columns. I believe Google Sheets, by default shows only 26 columns to add and lets you add columns in multiples of 26 at a time.

How to add columns on google sheets

I just figured out a nifty little way to do this. Even if you don’t know JavaScript, this should be pretty easy to follow:

Step 1 – Go to the script editor:

How to add columns on google sheets

It will look like this:

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 2 – Name your file and replace the default text with this simple code:

Your script should now look like this:

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 3 – Save your script:

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 4 – Add columns by using your function in the rightmost column:

How to add columns on google sheets

Note #1: Because of the way Google Sheets adds columns, there are a few constraints:

  • You cannot add less than 11 columns.
  • You cannot add columns beyond the 300th column (even if you call the function from the 300th column)

Step 5 – Delete the contents of the cell and enjoy your sheet!

How to add columns on google sheets

How to add columns on google sheets

I couldn’t find a way to insert or add more columns to my Google Sheets, so I downloaded the current one, edited it in Excel, and uploaded it back to my drive.

Try this. If you need to add 11 columns, select 11 columns as shown in the screenshot How to add columns on google sheets

Now. Click on Insert, here you can see an option to add 11 number of columns

How to add columns on google sheets

How to add columns on google sheets

In my search for the “add N columns” I did not find a GUI button and my Internet searches did not reveal such a feature. The “add N columns” may exist but I did not find it.

So I ended up using a workaround:

  • add one column at a time via keyboard shortcut alt-i + o

As long as the number of columns you need is small, this workaround is sufficient, but if you have more than 100-1000 columns I would not recommend this workaround.

When you start creating a spreadsheet from scratch, you may have a good idea what the final layout of that spreadsheet will entail. In the case of smaller and simpler sheets, there might only be a few columns of data to work with, making it unlikely that something new will arise which dictates the addition of another piece of information.

But you may find yourself in a situation where you need to add a column into the middle or an already-existing spreadsheet, and manually moving the data over might feel impractical. Fortunately Google Sheets offers you a way to selectively insert a column to the left or right of a column that is already in the sheet.

How to Add a Column in Google Sheets

The steps in this article were performed in the Web browser version of Google Sheets. This guide assumes that you currently have an existing spreadsheet and that you wish to add a column in between two of your existing columns.

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive and open the spreadsheet file into which you want to add a new column.

Step 2: Click a column heading to the left or right of where you wish to insert the new column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 3: Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 4: Select the Column left option to add a column to the left of the currently-selected column, or select the Column right option to add one to the right of the currently-selected column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Do you need to simultaneously change the width of many of your columns? Learn how to change the width of multiple columns in Google Sheets and quickly give uniform widths to many of the columns in your spreadsheet.

See also

  • How to merge cells in Google Sheets
  • How to wrap text in Google Sheets
  • How to alphabetize in Google Sheets
  • How to subtract in Google Sheets
  • How to change row height in Google Sheets

How to add columns on google sheets

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.

His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.

In Excel, when you enter a date and hold right click button + shift and move the mouse, it will create dates.

Is there a way to create a column of date easily with Google Spreadsheets like with Excel?

1 Answer 1

In both Excel and Google Spreadsheet.

  1. Enter a date in a cell
  2. With LEFT mouse button, click (and hold) square handle in bottom right corner of cell.
  3. Drag the selection to cover all cells you wish to be dates.
  4. Release mouse button.

However, Google Spreadsheet will fill the selection with the same date, unlike Excel that fills a sequence of consecutive dates.

To make a sequence of dates in Google Spreadsheet, complete the first two cells manually and select these two cells to drag over the required range of cells. Google Spreadsheet then continues the sequence.

UPDATE 3-Jun-2020: Not sure when this behaviour changed, but you now only need to select a single date before dragging to create a sequence of dates increasing by 1 day. In this respect, the behaviour is now the same as Excel.

Note that you do need to make sure you have selected the appropriate locale and date format for this to work as intended. See the following WebApps answer for more detail on this.

In Excel, enter a date, hold right click button + shift and move the mouse to create dates

Google Docs has a lot of different settings and options that let you format a document. You may have already figured out how to add a horizontal line in Google Docs if you want to include some separation between paragraphs, or maybe you followed these steps to add a page break, but you might be wondering how to insert a vertical line in Google Docs if you have columns and need a way to make their separation a bit more clear.

Formatting a document with columns can be useful for certain types of articles, or you may be working on a project that requires the document to be split into columns. But the addition of one or two columns to your document might not provide the full effect that you want, which can leave you looking for another way to visually separate these document elements.

One way to do this involves the addition of a line between the columns. But rather than trying to draw a line there, or implement it in another way, you can take advantage of a special setting in Google Docs’ column menu that that lets you automatically add a separating line between your document’s columns.

How to Insert Vertical Line in Google Docs

  1. Open your document.
  2. Select Format.
  3. Choose Columns, then More options.
  4. Check the Line between columns box, then click Apply.

Our article continues below with additional information on displaying a vertical line between columns in Google Docs including pictures of these steps.

How to Separate Columns with a Line in Google Docs (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article assume that you currently have a document with columns in Google Docs, and that you want to add a line between those columns. If you haven’t added the columns to your document yet, then this article can show you how.

Step 1: Sign into your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive and open the file to which you would like to add a separating line between columns.

Step 2: Choose the Format tab at the top of the window.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 3: Select the Columns option, then click the More options item.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 4: Check the box to the right of Line between columns, then click the Apply button.

How to add columns on google sheets

If you want to remove that column later, simply return to that same menu and uncheck the Line between columns box instead.

More Information on How to Insert a Vertical Line in Google Docs

  • This method relies on the fact that you are using columns in your document. if you aren’t using columns and still need a vertical line, then your best option involves adding a border to a paragraph. You can find this option on the Format > Paragraph styles > Borders and shading menu.
  • Adding a horizontal line in Google Docs is accomplished from the Insert menu, as indicated above. If you want to delete a horizontal line in a Google Docs document then you can place your cursor on the line below it, then press the Backspace key on your keyboard.

Want to make your columns wider? Switch your document to the landscape orientation so that the width of each column increases.

Additional Sources

How to add columns on google sheets

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.

His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.

Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He’s covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC. Read more.

How to add columns on google sheets

Google Sheets lets you add rows or columns to an existing spreadsheet on the fly to help you organize even better. Whether you want one or ten, above or to the right, here’s how to insert rows and columns into Sheets.

How to Add Rows or Columns

Fire up your browser and head to the Google Sheets home page. Open a spreadsheet in which you want to insert a few rows or columns.

How to add columns on google sheets

Next, click on a cell where you want to insert a column or row next to. After, select “Insert” from the toolbar.

How to add columns on google sheets

From the Insert menu, you’ll see a few options for inserting rows and columns into your spreadsheet. You can insert rows above or below and columns to the left or right of the selected cell.

How to add columns on google sheets

If you want to insert more than one row or column at a time, highlight as many cells as you want to add. For example, highlight two vertical cells to insert two rows or highlight two horizontal cells to insert columns.

How to add columns on google sheets

You can insert rows and columns from the right-click context menu as well. Highlight the cell you want to insert them next to, right-click the selection, and then choose “Insert Rows” or “Insert Columns.”

How to add columns on google sheets

By default, when using the right-click method, rows will insert above and columns will insert to the left of the selection.

Google Sheets even has a few keyboard shortcuts that let you add rows or columns without ever taking your hands off the keyboard. Select the cell, as you did before, and then press one of the shortcuts to insert a row or column.

Because Google likes to make things complicated, there are some browser-specific shortcuts. If you’re using Chrome on Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS, use the shortcut for Chrome. If you’re using a different browser, follow the other browser-specific commands:

  • Alt+I,then R (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+I, then R (Other browsers): Insert rows above.
  • Alt+I,then W (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+I, then W (Other browsers): Insert rows below.
  • Alt+I,then C (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+I, then C (Other browsers): Insert columns to the left.
  • Alt+I,then O (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+I, then O (Other browsers): Insert columns to the right.

If you use macOS, follow these shortcuts to add rows or columns to your spreadsheet:

  • Ctrl+Option+I, then R: Insert rows above.
  • Ctrl+Option+I, then W: Insert rows below.
  • Ctrl+Option+I, then C: Insert columns to the left.
  • Ctrl+Option+I, then O: Insert columns to the right.

And just like that, Sheets inserts the rows/columns to your spreadsheet.

How to add columns on google sheets

How to Remove Rows or Columns

Fire up Google Sheets in a browser and open a spreadsheet from which you want to remove a column or row.

Highlight a cell in the row or column that you want to remove, right-click it, and then select either “Delete Row” or “Delete Column.”

How to add columns on google sheets

If you want to remove more than one row or column at a time, highlight as many cells as you want to remove, and then right-click on the selection to delete them.

How to add columns on google sheets

When removing rows and columns in Google Sheets, you can use these shortcuts if you’d prefer to keep your fingers on your keyboard the whole time. Highlight the cells from the row or column you want to remove, and then press the keyboard shortcut for the command you want to execute.

Again, because Google wants to be difficult, here are the browser-specific keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS:

  • Alt+E,then D (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+E, then D (Other browsers): Delete rows.
  • Alt+E,then E (Chrome) or Alt+Shift+E, then E (Other browsers): Delete columns.

If you use macOS, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to remove rows or columns:

  • Ctrl+Option+E, then D: Delete rows.
  • Ctrl+Option+E, then E: Delete columns.

Whether you use the Insert menu, right-click context menu, or the keyboard shortcut, adding or removing rows and columns from your spreadsheet is an effortless process you can complete in a couple of clicks—or keystrokes.

I recently ran into this problem when I was looking at someones Adwords account and wanted to get an idea about all the unique keywords that they were using. I used the following formula to get an array of all unique keywords:

But then I encountered a problem:

Error Result was not automatically expanded, please insert more columns ([number-of-columns] ).”

Soon, I found that the current best option is to highlight and copy a number of columns and insert the copied columns over and over until there are enough columns. It seemed there should be a better way. After all, you can add an arbitrary number of rows to a spreadsheet. So just like the script to delete multiple sheets, I made the simple functionality.

The script looks like this:

Using the Script

  1. Open the Google Spreadsheet Script Editor from the menu: Tools > Script Editor…
  2. Copy and paste the script into a new script file and save: File > Save
  3. Refresh the Google Spreadsheet window.
  4. Once the pages has refreshed, there should be a new menu called “Sheet Expander”
  5. Go to: Sheet Expander > Add Columns, and enter the number of columns you would like to add.

Note: Google Spreadsheets claims to impose a maximum limit on columns within a spreadsheet. They say it is 256 but it seems like it is possible to add many more. Perhaps this depends on number of rows in the spreadsheet.

Blank spreadsheets in Google Sheets have a default column width of 100 pixels. But as you start adding data to those cells and adjusting their dimensions, you will likely end up with a lot of columns of varying widths. So if you would like to make all of your columns have the same width again, you may be wondering how to accomplish that.

Adjusting the height of your spreadsheet rows or the width of your columns can be a helpful way to make your data easier to read.

But you may be having trouble getting several of your columns to the same width, as manually dragging the column boundaries can result in imprecise sizing.

Fortunately Google Sheets has a way for you to set the size of a column with a pixel width, and that setting can be applied to multiple columns at once.

Our guide below will show you how to select several columns at once, then set a specific pixel width for all of those columns so that they have the same width.

How to Set All Google Sheets Columns to the Same Width

  1. Open your spreadsheet.
  2. Click on the first column letter, hold down Shift, then click on the last column letter.
  3. Right click on a selected cell and choose Resize columns.
  4. Enter the column width and click OK.

Our guide continues below with more additional information on setting the column width for multiple Google Sheets columns, including pictures of these steps.

How to Set the Column Width for Multiple Columns in Google Sheets (Guide with Pictures)

This article was performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser, but you can use other desktop browsers like Firefox, Edge, or Safari instead.

Step 1: Sign into your Google Drive and open the Sheets file you wish to edit.

Step 2: Click and hold on the column letter of the leftmost column to adjust, then drag right to select the rest of them.

As we discussed above, you could also click on the first column letter, then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the last column letter that you wish to resize.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 3: Right-click on one of the selected columns and choose the Resize columns option.

How to add columns on google sheets

Step 4: Enter the desired column width into the field, then click OK.

How to add columns on google sheets

If you don’t like the size of the columns that you set, you can press Ctrl + Z on your keyboard to undo the resizing, then follow the steps above again to retry.

Note that the default column width is 100 pixels.

You also have the option to Fit to data, but that will likely result in differing column widths, as they will adjust based on the size of the largest cell in each column.

More Information on How to Make All Columns Same Width – Google Sheets

While we talked about clicking on the first column letter, then holding down the Shift key and scrolling to the right and clicking the last column letter to select everything, you could also click and drag to select column letters.

Unfortunately you can’t use the methods to select all of your cells (such as clicking the gray button next to column A, or the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + A) to do this more quickly. The column resizing options will be grayed out when you try with that method.

If you aren’t resizing your columns to the maximum width of your data, then some of your data may not be visible. You might need to select some of your cells and change the text wrapping option for those cells if you want the day to display in a different manner.

The same method that we discuss in this article can also be used to make a bunch of rows the same height. You would just use one of the options to select multiple rows, then choose the Resize rows option and set the desired height of those rows in pixels.

Additional Reading

  • How to change the orientation of a printed spreadsheet in Google Sheets
  • How to sort a column from high to low in Google Sheets
  • How to print with gridlines in Google Sheets
  • How to copy multiple rows in Google Sheets
  • How to change cell border color in Google Sheets

How to add columns on google sheets

Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.

He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office and many other popular applications and devices.

The Sheets API allows you to insert, remove, and manipulate rows and columns in sheets. The examples on this page illustrate how some common row and column operations can be achieved with the API.

In these examples, the placeholders spreadsheetId and sheetId are used to indicate where you would provide those IDs. The spreadsheet ID can be discovered from the spreadsheet URL; the sheet ID can be obtained from the spreadsheet.get method.

Adjust column width or row height

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request updates the width of column A to 160 pixels. A second request updates the row height of the first three rows to be 40 pixels.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Append empty rows or columns

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request appends rows and columns. The first request appends three empty rows to the end of the sheet, while the second appends a single empty column.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Automatically resize a column

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request will resize columns A through C, based on the size of the column content.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Automatically resize a row

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request will clear the row heights of the first three rows. The row heights will then each grow dynamically based on the content of the cells in each row.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Delete rows or columns

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request deletes the first three rows in the sheet. A second request deletes columns B:D.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Insert an empty row or column

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request inserts two blank columns at column C. A second request inserts three empty rows at row 1. The inheritFromBefore field, if true, tells the API to give the new columns or rows the same properties as the prior row or column; otherwise the new columns or rows acquire the properties of those that follow them. inheritFromBefore cannot be true if inserting a row at row 1 or a column at column A.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Move a row or column

The following spreadsheets.batchUpdate request moves column A to the column D position. A second request moves rows 5 through 10 to the row 20 position.

The request protocol is shown below. The Updating Spreadsheets guide shows how to implement a batch update in different languages using the Google API client libraries.

Except as otherwise noted, the content of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, and code samples are licensed under the Apache 2.0 License. For details, see the Google Developers Site Policies. Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.