Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Getting Rid of Empty Rows after Importing.

Getting Rid of Empty Rows after Importing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 24, 2018)

3

There are numerous times when Tom has a worksheet imported from another program into Excel so he can work with the data. The importing works fine, but the import process adds lots (dozens and sometimes hundreds) of extra rows that have no data in them. After the import Tom has to manually delete those extra rows so he can use the rest of the data. Tom wonders if there is a way to easily get rid of these empty rows.

There are a number of ways you can approach this problem. The easiest way may be to simply sort the imported data by the column of your choice. All the rows that contain nothing in that column end up at either the end or beginning of the data (depending on if you sort in ascending or descending order) and you can easily delete those rows.

Obviously, when you do a sort in this manner you could end up with your data out of the original, imported order. If you need your data to be in the original order—but with the blank rows removed—just insert a column to the left or right of your data, fill it with sequential numbers, perform the sort by any column except that added column, and then delete the rows that are blank (with only something in the numbering column). You can then sort a second time based on the numbering column and your data will be back in its original order.

Another approach is to follow these steps:

  1. Select an entire column.
  2. Press F5. Excel displays the Go To dialog box.
  3. Click Special. Excel displays the Go To Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Go To Special dialog box.

  5. Choose Blanks and then click OK. Excel selects only those cells in the column that are blank.
  6. Choose Delete from the Edit menu. Excel displays the Delete dialog box.
  7. Choose Entire Row and then click OK.

If you prefer to use a macro to get rid of the blank rows, you can use something similar to the following:

Sub DeleteEmptyRows()
    Dim LastRow As Long
    Dim J As Long

    LastRow = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count + _
      ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows(1).Row - 1
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    For J = LastRow To 1 Step -1
        If Application.WorksheetFunction.CountA(Rows(J)) = 0 Then
            Rows(J).Delete
        End If
    Next J
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Why would you want to use a macro? Because you may need to delete empty rows week after week. Just put the macro into your Personal workbook and you can then access it whenever you need.

Additional information on this topic can be found on these pages:

http://www.cpearson.com/Excel/deleting.htm#DeleteBlankRows
http://dmcritchie.mvps.org/excel/lastcell.htm

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7988) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Getting Rid of Empty Rows after Importing.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inconsistent Formatting in an Index

When indexing a document, you may find that some of your index entries aren't formatted the save as your other index ...

Discover More

Assigning a Macro to a Button in Your Text

One way you can access macros is through the use of a button, added directly into the text of your document. This is done ...

Discover More

Cannot Add Words to Dictionary

We all run across words that are spelled correctly, but that Word isn't aware of. The solution is to add those words to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Determining the Length of a Text File

When processing plain text files in a macro, it is often helpful to know how much data the file contains. The normal way ...

Discover More

File Formats that Include Field Formats

If you import data into Excel that is created by other programs, you know that it can be bothersome to get your data ...

Discover More

Creating a Dated Backup File

As you are developing your workbooks, you might want a way to automatically create backup files that include a date and ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 1?

2018-02-26 09:55:13

David Robinson

Another note of caution is to say that my spider-senses always detect trouble when the size of a data table isn't what I expected, and if your data filled the range you copied but doesn't fill the range when it's pasted, then you've probably got some formulas that evaluate in their home context but no longer produce a value in the context where you paste them. In that case you should consider pasting as values.


2018-02-24 09:30:43

Mark

Fellow Keyboard Jockeys:

And for all those who also prefer keyboard shortcuts you can use Ctrl - (control minus) to delete selected rows. This works for the first two methods.


2018-02-24 07:54:25

Alex B

A note of caution when you use the first method. When you enter the sequential number to reinstate the original order you need to use the Home > Fill command to generate the numbers. If you use a formula ie =a1+1 you must paste values prior to the sort (the number needs to be a constant)

Typically downloads contain not only blanks but also repeating page headers and totals that you want to remove. Sorting the rows generally lets you delete all of these in one go.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.