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 December 27, 2021)

4

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

Default Picture Location

When you insert pictures into a document, the first folder that Word opens up is normally the My Pictures folder. You can ...

Discover More

Offering Options in a Macro

When creating macros, you often need to offer a series of choices to a user. This tip demonstrates how easy it is to ...

Discover More

Making Managerial Titles Lowercase

Your in-house document style may require that job titles be all lowercase. Applying such a rule across a long document or ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Importing Multiple Files to a Single Workbook

If you use Excel to work with data exported from another program, you might be interested in a way to import a large ...

Discover More

Different CSV Formats

Excel provides different CSV formats you can use to export your workbook data for use with other programs. What are those ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Extra Quote Marks in Exported Text Files

If you don't like the way that Excel exports information you intend to use with other programs, then your best bet is to ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 7 - 7?

2021-12-27 09:18:59

Mark W

David Robinson's point that incoming data with unexpected results should get your spider senses tingling until it can be verified as correct is excellent. If the data is indeed correct I submit that this scenario is a perfect case for using Power Query. This would also address Alex B's points as well.


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.