Google Sheets is a common online tool for creating spreadsheets from data. Many people use it to collect and edit sets of numbers, work collaboratively with remote colleagues and create diagrams from data. If you use Google Sheets, it might help to learn how to insert multiple rows into a set of data while preserving the information in other cells. In this article, we explore how to insert multiple rows in Google Sheets and provide some tips for effectively using this program.
Related: How To Create a Google Spreadsheet
How does Google Sheets organize information?
The basic unit of information in a Google Sheets spreadsheet is a cell, which is a single square containing descriptive data or numbers. You might enter data into a cell manually or generate it by inserting a formula. A row is a line of cells going in a horizontal direction, while a column is a vertical stack of cells. Every cell is at the intersection of a row and a column, reflecting the categories of the information in the cell.
Related: Databases vs. Spreadsheets: Definitions and Differences
Can you insert one row in Google Sheets?
To insert a single row in Google Sheets, click on a cell right beneath where you want to insert the new row. Click “Insert” and “New row” to create a blank row above the selected cell. This action might be ideal when you have one row of information to add or when you're adding multiple rows with information between them. For example, you might add a row before the third row and the sixth, while leaving the rest of the information in the spreadsheet unaffected.
How to insert multiple rows in Google Sheets
You can also use Google Sheets' tools to add multiple blank rows at one time. Here's how you can insert multiple rows at once in Google Sheets:
1. Select the location
To add multiple rows, select the entire row above or below where you want the new rows to be. To select an entire row, move your browser to the far left of the Google Sheets window, where you can see gray squares with numbers in them. Click on the number to the left of a row to highlight the entire row.
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2. Set the number of rows
Next, drag your cursor down to set the number of new rows you plan to add. For example, if you want to add three rows between your current fourth and fifth row, you might highlight the fourth row and drag your cursor down two more rows, so you have three highlighted. As you move your cursor down, you can keep count by watching the numbers on the left-hand side. You can use this method to add up to 100 blank rows in a single action.
3. Add the rows above or below
Once you've highlighted the number of rows you want to add, right-click on the selected area (on a PC) or click while pressing “Control” (on a Mac) to launch a new menu. Choose whether to add your new rows above or below the highlighted area. When you make your selection, the program inserts blank rows and moves the other information to accommodate them while preserving data you've already entered. For example, if you insert three rows between your current fourth and fifth row, your fifth row becomes your eighth row with its data intact.
Tips for using Google Sheets
Here are some tips you can use to optimize your Google Sheets experience:
Collaborate using the chat function
You can use Google Sheets' chat function to collaborate with colleagues as you enter data into a spreadsheet. To use the chat function, first, invite your colleagues to view and edit the sheet using the green “Share” button at the top right of your browser and entering their email addresses. Once they've accepted your invitation, they can edit and chat with you in the spreadsheet browser. You can use this function to divide up work or discuss the data.
Use functions to calculate data metrics
Functions allow you to calculate a data set's average, sum or maximum and minimum values automatically. When you use a function in Google Sheets, the formula adapts to include any rows of data you add to your spreadsheet. First, highlight the cells to include in the function using your cursor and then select “Insert” and “Function” in the top menu or click the “Function” button at the far right of your toolbar. After you choose your function, the solution to the formula appears in a blank cell at the end of the highlighted row or column.
Related: How To Make a Graph in Google Sheets
Lock cells to keep data unchanged
Because Google Sheets allows people to collaborate on spreadsheets, it might be helpful to lock certain cells to preserve the data within them. You can lock cells, rows or columns by clicking on the cell you want to lock or the gray number on the far left side of a row or the top of a column. You can also click and drag your cursor to highlight a block of cells. With the area highlighted, right-click or Control-click and select “Protect range” to open a menu that allows you to choose who can edit the highlighted cells.
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Freeze rows or columns to keep them visible
When you're entering large amounts of data, you might freeze a row or column to keep it visible as you scroll down or across. Frozen cells move with your cursor as you scroll, but you can still edit and add information to a frozen cell. To freeze a row or column, select any cell in that row or column and click “View,” followed by “Freeze.” Then, choose how many rows or columns to freeze, starting from the left or top. After you make your choice, a thin gray line appears on the edge of the frozen cells.
Use color schemes
Coloring alternate rows in different shades can improve the readability of your spreadsheet data. If you use Google Sheets' built-in tool for color schemes, the coloring adapts to any new rows that you insert. First, highlight the cells you want to color by clicking and dragging your cursor or holding down the shift key and clicking the last cell in the set. Then, click “Format” and select “Alternating color” to launch an interface that allows you to choose a color theme.
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