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: Ensuring Rows and Columns are Empty.

Ensuring Rows and Columns are Empty

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 13, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


1

It is a well-known fact that if you delete a row or column, Excel dutifully does your bidding, removing whatever was in that row or column. This means that it is easy to delete rows or columns you think are blank, which in fact contain information you cannot see on the screen.

So how do you tell if there is any data without scrolling through the gazillion rows and columns in your worksheet? There is a quick way you can check for data in a row or column. To check a column, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the first cell of the column (A1, H1, etc.).
  2. Press the End key once. The phrase "End Mode" should appear near the left side of the status bar.
  3. Press the down arrow if checking out a column or the right arrow if checking out a row.

If you prefer, you can accomplish this same task using only two steps:

  1. Click on the first cell of the column (A1, H1, etc.)
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key as you press the down arrow or right arrow.

Performing these simple steps causes Excel to move to the next cell containing data. If there is no data, Excel selects the last cell in the column (at row 1,048,576) or the last cell in the row (at column XFD). You then know that the row or column is empty and you can safely delete it.

There is a "gotcha" to be aware of if you use have hidden rows or columns in your worksheet: The first approach (pressing the End key first) will detect and stop at hidden rows or columns, but the second approach (holding down the Ctrl key) will not. Thus, if you have hidden data in your worksheet, you'll want to use the first approach instead of the second.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12079) 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: Ensuring Rows and Columns are Empty.

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

Creating an Index Entry

In order to create an index, you first need to create the entries that will be used to compile the index. Here's how you ...

Discover More

Changing Directories in a Macro

Need to specify which directory on your hard drive should be used by a macro? It's easy to do using the ChDir command.

Discover More

Read-Only Files

Read-only documents (those that cannot be updated) are part and parcel of working with Word. There are many ways that a ...

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)

Default Cell Movement when Deleting

Delete a cell or a range of cells, and Excel needs to figure out how to rearrange the void left by the deletion. You can ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of All Rows Except the One for the Latest Date

As you use Excel to collect data over time, sometimes winnowing out the latest data can present a challenge. Here are a ...

Discover More

Ensuring Standard Units During Data Entry

Need to make sure that information entered in a worksheet is always in a given unit of measurement? It's not as easy of a ...

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 9 - 3?

2022-08-18 20:48:11

Henry

I do Select All, auto filter and click the drop down.


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.