How to Insert Multiple Columns in Google Sheets (Easy Methods)

We often need to insert new columns when working with data in spreadsheets. When there are multiple columns that need to be inserted, it often helps to insert them all at once, rather than one by one.

Google sheets provide the functionality to insert one or multiple columns at once, with just two to three clicks of your mouse. In this tutorial, we will see a few ways to quickly get this done.

Inserting a Single Column in Google Sheets

If you want to insert a single column either before or after a particular column in Google Sheets, you can use either the Insert menu or a context menu.

We will take a look at both methods below.

Inserting a Single Column using the Insert Menu

Let us say you have a dataset as shown below and you want to insert a column before column B.

Dataset for inserting multiple columns in Google Sheets

Here are the steps you need to follow to insert a new column before a selected column using the Insert menu:

  1. Select the header of the column before which you want to insert a new column. In our case, it’s going to be Column B. You could also just click any cell in column B.
  2. From the Insert menu, navigate to the ‘Column left’ option.Insert one column to the left
  3. This should now insert a new column before column B.One column on the left inserted

In case you want to insert a column after the selected column, choose the ‘Column right’ option from the ‘Insert’ menu.

Inserting a Single Column using the Context Menu

You can also use the Context menu to quickly insert a new column before or after a selected column. This is a quicker way than the one shown above since you get the job done in just two clicks.

Here are the steps you need to follow to insert a column before a selected column using the context menu. We are going to work on the same dataset:

Dataset for inserting multiple columns in Google Sheets

  1. Right-click the header of the column before which you want to insert a new column. In our case, it’s going to be Column B. You could also just right-click any cell in column B.
  2. From the context menu that appears, select the ‘Insert 1 left’ option, to insert a column before column B. If you right-clicked on a cell of column B, you need to select the ‘Insert column’ option from the context menu.Click on Insert 1 left
  3. This should now insert a new column before column B.One column on the left inserted

In case you want to insert a column after the selected columns (after column B), you only need to select the header of column B and choose the ‘Insert 1 right’ option from the ‘Insert’ menu.

Note: If you right-click on a cell, you only get an option to insert columns to the left of the cell. You don’t get the option to insert a new column to the right of the cell.

Inserting Multiple Columns In Google Sheets

The Insert menu can be used to insert not just one, but even multiple columns at a time.

Both the Insert menu as well as the context menu can be used to achieve this. The process remains the same as before, with just a minor difference.

Inserting Multiple Columns using the Insert Menu

Let us say you have the same dataset as before and you want to insert three new columns before column B.

Dataset for inserting multiple columns in Google Sheets

Here are the steps you need to follow to insert multiple new columns before a selected column using the Insert menu:

  1. Select headers of three columns starting from column B. You could also just select three contiguous cells in a row that start from column B.Select the three columns
  2. From the Insert menu, navigate to the ‘3 Columns left’ option, to insert three new columns before column B.Insert 3 columns to the left
  3. This should now insert three new columns before column B.Multiple Columns inserted on the left

In case you want to insert three columns after the selected columns (after column D), you only need to select three column headers starting from and to the left of column D.

Then you can choose the ‘3 Columns right’ option from the ‘Insert’ menu.

Using this method you can insert any number of new columns. All you need to do is select that many numbers of column headers before using the Insert menu.

Inserting Multiple Columns using the Context Menu

Using the context menu to insert multiple columns is an even quicker way. Let us now see how to insert three new columns before column B, working with the same dataset.

Dataset for inserting multiple columns in Google Sheets

Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to insert multiple columns before a column using the context menu:

  1. Select column headers of three columns starting from column B. You could also just select three contiguous cells in a row that start from column B.Select the three columns
  2. Right-click your selection.
  3. From the context menu that appears, select the ‘Insert 3 left’ option, to insert a column before column B. If you right-click on a cell of column B, you need to select the ‘Insert column’ option.Insert three columns to the left
  4. This should now insert three new columns before column B.Multiple Columns inserted on the left

In case you want to insert three columns after the selected columns (after column D), you only need to select three column headers starting from and to the left of column D.

Then you can choose the ‘Insert 3 right’ option from the ‘Insert’ menu.

Note: If you right-click on a group of cells, you only get an option to insert columns to the left of the cells. You don’t get the option to insert new columns to the right of the cells.

Inserting a Large Number of Columns at Once

If you want to insert a really large number of columns, then Google Sheets has a great option that lets you insert 26 columns at a time.

You can then just keep adding columns in multiples of 26 at a time.

Here’s how you can insert 26 columns at once at the start of your spreadsheet:

  1. Press CTRL+A on your keyboard (or CMD+A if you’re on a Mac). This will select all the cells in your spreadsheet.Select large number of cells
  2. Now, from the Insert menu, navigate to the ’26 Columns left’ option. Alternatively, you could also right-click your selection and select ‘Insert 26 columns’ from the context menu that appears.Insert many columns at once
  3. This should now insert 26 new columns at the start of your spreadsheet.

This happens because, by default, Google Sheets only displays 26 columns. So when you select all, you are allowed to add 26 more columns at a time.

In case you want to insert 26 columns at the end of your spreadsheet, then choose the ‘26 Columns right’ option from the Insert menu.

Note: When you use the context menu to add new columns, you only get an option to insert columns at the start of the spreadsheet. You don’t get the option to insert new columns at the end.

Insert many columns at once using right click

In this tutorial, we showed you different ways in which you can insert either a single or multiple columns in your worksheet.

The Insert menu provides options for you to insert columns either before or after a selected column. To get this done even quicker, you can right-click on a column and insert columns from the context menu that appears.

If you want to insert multiple columns with non-adjacent columns (say one column to the left of column B, E, and G), you can’t do it at one go. You will have to do this one by one.

Finally, we showed you how you can insert a large number of columns, 26 at a time using the Select All shortcut.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful to you.

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