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How to add columns on google sheets

Fitting enough information into a single cell is incredibly important when it comes to understanding what the cell is trying to tell us. The data can get compressed or cut off within a column, so you may need to change the column width. Luckily, Google Sheets makes it easy.

How to add columns on google sheets

Changing column width is just one of the ways to format data within Google Sheets. It is useful for making data fit into the cell and for making the dimensions of any given table fit into a design or page.

Change Column Width in Google Sheets

You have a couple options when changing column width in Google Sheets. You can widen the column or make it more narrow. There are different ways of doing each of those.

Manually Widen Column Width

The easiest way to get a table just so is to manually set your column width.

    Open your Google Sheet and select the column you want to edit.

Manually Narrow Column Width

As you would expect, to make the column narrower, you just do the opposite of the above.

  1. Open your Google Sheet and select the column you want to edit.

You can manipulate column width incrementally until it is exactly right for what you need.

How to add columns on google sheets

Automatically widen column width

If you are just looking to fit the data within the cells to the correct width so they can be read clearly, you can do that much faster than dragging the column width.

    Open your Google Sheet and select the column you want to edit.

This method is a fast way to ensure cell content is displayed correctly and that the width fits the content. The downside is that if you have a single cell that contains a lot of data, Google Sheets will change all columns to fit that single cell. This works best of all data is of a similar size or length.

How to Edit the Width of Multiple Columns at One Time

Some situations may call for multiple columns of data to all be formatted in a similar way. In these cases, editing each column one at a time would be tedious. To edit the width of multiple columns at once, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells of the columns you would like to edit

Your selected columns will all now be the same width.

Wrapping Up

Got any other Google Sheets tips you want to share? Know of any other ways to change column width? Tell us about it below!

Google Sheets made sharing and organizing information less stressful, partially because it offers features like locking a row or a column. When your spreadsheet has too many rows and columns, navigation can become harder.

How to add columns on google sheets

That’s why locking or freezing how it’s commonly called, a row or a column makes it easier to read the data in your spreadsheet. In this article, we’re going to show you how to do that.

How to add columns on google sheets

Locking Rows and Columns in Google Sheets

When you freeze or lock rows and columns in Google Sheets, it sets them in place, and they will not move. When dealing with a spreadsheet with too much data to keep track of, freezing rows and columns allows you to manage the document a little better.

In the majority of cases, you only need to lock the first column or row. But you can also freeze others that come after it. To lock a row or column, you only need three steps:

  1. Select one cell in a row or column you want to lock.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  2. Go to the Google Sheets toolbar and click on “View.”
    How to add columns on google sheets
  3. Select the “Freeze” option from the drop-down menu.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  4. Choose “Up to Current Column” or “Up to Current Row,” which will lock every row or column up to the selected cell.
    How to add columns on google sheets

Once your rows and columns are locked, you can move around the spreadsheet, and they will stay in place. When you need to refer to them, you won’t have to navigate back to find them.

How to add columns on google sheets

You’ll see a grey cell border that will better divide the locked and unlocked cells. In case you need to unlock rows and columns, go back to the “View>Freeze” option in the toolbar and select either “No Columns” or “Now Rows.”

How to add columns on google sheets

Hiding Rows and Columns in Google Sheets

Sometimes you don’t need to lock the row or a column, and you also don’t need to refer to them while working on your spreadsheet. Instead of removing them, you can hide cells and rows temporarily. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Sheets in your browser.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  2. Select a row or a column you want to hide and highlight it.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  3. Right-click and then choose “Hide row” or “Hide column” from the menu. You’ll see an arrow over the now hidden column or row.
    How to add columns on google sheets

If you want to unhide the row or a column, all you need to do is click on that arrow.

How to add columns on google sheets

Also, if you want to merge rows or columns, that takes a few clicks, too. Select the rows and columns you want to join and go to the Google Sheets toolbar. Select “Format>Merge Cells,” and that’s all there is to it.

How to add columns on google sheets

How to Lock Cells and Protect Google Sheets

In some cases, all you need is to lock a few cells in the entire spreadsheet. This feature in Google Sheets is aimed explicitly towards protecting certain parts of your document from modification. If you don’t want particular data edited or erased, locking a cell or cells is essential. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open Google Sheets and select a cell or range of cells you want to protect.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  2. In the toolbar, go to “Data” and then select “Protected sheets and ranges.”
    How to add columns on google sheets
  3. You’ll have the option to name the range, which we recommend for better navigation.
    How to add columns on google sheets
  4. Select “Set permissions” then choose the option from the menu. You can either choose “Restrict who can edit this range” or “Only you.”
    How to add columns on google sheets

That way, you’ll make sure that only the collaborators you trust, or only you, can modify the cell or range in question.

How to add columns on google sheets

Managing Your Google Sheets Efficiently

Nothing quite compares to the panic of realizing data is missing from your spreadsheet. Or that someone modified it incorrectly. That’s why Google Sheets protection matters. It ensures that every little bit of info is in its place always.

Locking or freezing rows and columns will save you a lot of time when working on a massive spreadsheet. Also, if you don’t need to use them at the moment, you can always hide any row or column you want.

Have you ever locked a cell, row, or a column in Google Sheets? Do you hide rows and columns sometimes? Let us know in the comments.

Here's how to use the SUM function in Google Sheets

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What to Know

  • Easiest option: Click the cell, select SUM in the Functions menu, and select the cells you want to add.
  • Or click the cell, enter =SUM( and select the cells. Close with ). Press Enter.
  • You can also use the Function button to create a sum.

This article explains how to use the SUM function in Google Sheets using the Functions menu, inputting it manually, and with the Function button. The screenshots are from the Google Sheets app for iOS, but instructions are the same on all platforms.

How to Write a SUM Function

Adding up rows or columns of numbers is a common operation carried out in all spreadsheet programs. Google Sheets includes a built-in function called SUM for this purpose. With a function in place, the spreadsheet automatically updates when you make changes in the range of cells in the formula. If you change entries or add text to blank cells, the total updates to include the new data.

Using the information above, write a SUM function like this:

In this case, the numbers in the parentheses are the individual cells being added. This can be a list, like (A1, B2, C10), or a range, like (A1:B10). The range option is how you add columns and rows.

How to Enter a SUM Function in Google Sheets

Before you begin, enter the information you want to add up into a spreadsheet, then follow these steps:

Click or tap the cell where you want to place the formula.

How to add columns on google sheets

Tap Enter text or formula to display the keyboard.

How to add columns on google sheets

Type =sum( to start the formula.

How to add columns on google sheets

Choose the numbers you want to add together. One way to do this is to tap the cells you want. The cell references appear inside the parentheses in the formula.

How to add columns on google sheets

To select a range of adjacent cells at once, tap one (for example, the first one in a row or column), then tap and drag the circle to select the numbers you want to add together.

You can include empty cells in a function.

How to add columns on google sheets

Enter a closing parenthesis to end the function, and then tap the checkmark to run the function.

How to add columns on google sheets

The function runs, and the sum of the numbers you selected appears in the cell you chose.

How to add columns on google sheets

If you change any of the values in the cells you selected, the sum updates automatically.

How to Create a Sum Using the Function Button

You can also use a menu to enter a function instead of typing it. Here's how to do it.

Enter the data, then select the cell in which you want the sum to appear.

Click or tap the Function button.

On the desktop version of Google Sheets, Function is on the right side of the formatting bar and looks like the Greek letter sigma (∑).

How to add columns on google sheets

In the list of function categories, tap Math.

The Function menu on the desktop version of Google Sheets contains a few commonly used formulas. SUM may be on that list.

How to add columns on google sheets

The functions appear alphabetically. Scroll down, then tap SUM.

How to add columns on google sheets

In the spreadsheet, enter the range of numbers you want to add together.

How to Write a Function in Google Sheets

A function in Google Sheets and other spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel has three parts:

How to add columns on google sheets

Adding columns and rows in Google Sheets is a two-click process. Open your spreadsheet, and follow along below to see how it's done.

How to Add columns in Google Sheets

Step 1: Click anywhere in the column that's next to where you want your new column.

Step 2: Click Insert in the toolbar.

Step 2: Select either Column left or Column right. Column left will insert a column to the left of the column you're currently clicked into. Column right will insert one to the right.

After clicking, the new column will appear.

How to add columns in Google Sheets using right-click

You can achieve the same effect without the toolbar by using the right-click function on your mouse or trackpad.

Step 1: Instead of just clicking into the column, you'll need to select the entire column next to where you want your new column. Do this by clicking the letter at the top of the column.

Step 2: Right-click anywhere in that column, and then select either Insert 1 left or Insert 1 right.

How to add multiple columns in Google Sheets

If you want to add multiple columns, you can follow the same process, but—whether using the toolbar or the right-click method—start by highlighting the number of columns you want to add.

For example, if you want to add two columns, highlight the two columns next to the columns you want to add. If you want to add ten columns, highlight the ten columns next to the columns you want to add. And so on.

How to Add Rows in Google Sheets

Step 1: Click anywhere in the row that's either above or below where you want your new row.

Step 2: Click Insert in the toolbar.

Step 2: Select either Row above or Row below. Row above will insert a row directly above the column you're currently clicked into. Row below will insert one directly below.

After clicking, the new row will appear.

How to add rows in Google Sheets using right-click

You can achieve the same effect without the toolbar by using the right-click function on your mouse or trackpad.

Step 1: Select the entire row above or below where you want your new row. Do this by clicking the number to the left of the row.

Step 2: Right-click anywhere in that row, and then select either Insert 1 above or Insert 1 below.

How to add multiple rows in Google Sheets

If you want to add multiple rows, you can follow the same process, but—whether using the toolbar or the right-click method—start by highlighting the number of rows you want to add.

For example, if you want to add two rows, highlight the two rows above or below the rows you want to add. If you want to add ten rows, highlight the ten rows above or below the rows you want to add. And so on.

If you want to add a large number of rows to the bottom of your spreadsheet, scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see the option to add any number of rows. Type the number of rows you want, and click Add.

Adding some cells or a column is some of the most common things users do in Google Sheets.

If you have a column full of numbers, you can easily calculate the sum of the entire column (or a specific range in the column).

In this tutorial, I will show you how to use a simple formula to sum a column in Google Sheets.

Table of Contents

Sum a Column using the SUM Function

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below and you want to get the sum of all the values in the column.

How to add columns on google sheets

Below is the formula that will give you the sum of all the values in the column:

How to add columns on google sheets

Enter this formula in cell A15 (or whichever cell where you want the sum of the column) and hit the enter key.

Google Sheets try to guess the range for you which you want to calculate the sum. When you enter the text =sum and then hit the tab key, Google Sheets will automatically select the range of cells that have the numbers.

Since this is a dynamic result, in case you change anything in any of the cells, the formula would automatically update.

While this works great, what if your data expands and you get new values that you need to be a part of the sum. While you can adjust the formula, there is a better way to make the formula dynamic.

Instead of just using the range that has the values, you include more cells that might get some additional data in the future.

In our example, I can use the below formula instead:

How to add columns on google sheets

Although cell A11 to A14 are empty as of now, these are still used in the formula. In case a value is added to these cells, the formula would automatically update to reflect these new values in the total sum.

Sum an Entire Column using the SUM Function

Another thing you can do when calculating the sum of all the values in a column is to include the entire column as a part of the formula.

For example, suppose you have the data as shown below and you want to add all the values in the entire column. At the same time, you want to make sure that in case any new value is added anywhere in the column, it’s also added to the total value.

How to add columns on google sheets

Below is the formula that will do this:

How to add columns on google sheets

The above formula takes A:A as the input range, which represents the entire column.

Also, don’t worry about having any text value in the column, as text values are automatically ignored.

Note: For this to work, you need to enter the formula in a cell that is not in the same column. If you keep it in the same column, it would give a reference error as there would be a circular reference issue.

Remember that the SUM formula only adds those cells that have a numeric value. If there is any text, or of the number that has been formatted as text, it would be ignored.

So this is how you can use the SUM formula to get the total of a column in Google Sheets

You can add, change, move, or delete your spreadsheet’s columns, row, or cells.

Add one row, column, or cell

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Select a row, column, or cell.
  3. Right-click the row, column, or cell.
  4. From the menu that appears, select Insert 1 left, right, above or below.

Add more than one row, column, or cell

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Highlight the number of rows, columns, or cells you want to add. To highlight multiple items:
    • Mac: ⌘ + click the rows or columns.
    • Windows: Ctrl + click the rows or columns
  3. Right-click the rows, columns, or cells.
  4. From the menu that appears, select Insert [Number] or Insert cells. For example, highlight 5 rows, right-click the row header, and then select Insert rows.

To add 100+ rows to your spreadsheet:

  1. On your spreadsheet, scroll to the bottom.
  2. Next to “more rows at the bottom,” enter the number of rows you’d like to add.
  3. Click Add.
  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Select a row or column to resize. To highlight multiple rows or columns:
    • Mac: + click the rows or columns
    • Windows: Ctrl + click the rows or columns
  3. Right-click the row number or column letter.
  4. Click Resize row or Resize column. Then, choose an option:
    • Enter a custom height or width
    • Fit to data
  5. Click OK.

You can also drag the edge of a row or column to resize it or double-click the row or column edge to fit to data.

You can sort data in alphabetical and numerical order, or use filters to hide data you don’t want to see.

Learn more about this Coursera course. To get an example spreadsheet and follow along with the video, click “Make a Copy” below.

Sort data in alphabetical or numerical order

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Highlight the group of cells you’d like to sort.
  3. If your sheet includes a header row, freeze the first row.
  4. Click DataSort range.
  5. If your columns have titles, click Data has header row.
  6. Select the column you’d like to be sorted first and choose a sorting order.
    • To add another sorting rule, click Add another sort column.
  7. Click Sort.

Sort an entire sheet

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. At the top, right-click the letter of the column you want to sort by.
  3. Click Sort sheet by A to Z or Sort sheet Z to A.

Sort by color

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Select a range of cells.
  3. Click DataCreate a filter.
  4. To see filter options, go to the top of the range and click Filter .
    • Sort by color: Choose which text or fill color to filter or sort by. Cells with the color you choose to sort by will move to the top of the range. You can sort by conditional formatting colors, but not alternating colors.
  5. To turn the filter off, click DataTurn off filter.

Filter your data

Important: When you add a filter, anyone with access to your spreadsheet will see the filter too. Anyone with permission to edit your spreadsheet will be able to change the filter.

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Select a range of cells.
  3. Click DataCreate a filter.
  4. To see filter options, go to the top of the range and click Filter .
    • Filter by condition: Choose conditions or write your own.
    • Filter by values: To hide data points, uncheck the box next to the data point and click OK.
    • Search: Search for data points by typing in the search box.
    • Filter by color: Choose which text or fill color to filter by. You can filter by conditional formatting colors, but not alternating colors.
  5. To turn the filter off, click DataTurn off filter.

Create, save, delete, or share a filter view

Important: If you only have permission to view a spreadsheet, you can create a temporary filter view that only you can use. Your filter view won’t be saved.

On a computer, you can filter data so the filtered data only applies to your view of the spreadsheet. Your filter view changes are automatically saved.

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click DataFilter viewsCreate new filter view.
  3. Sort and filter the data.
  4. To close your filter view, at the top right, click Close .
  5. Your filter view is saved automatically.

To delete or duplicate a filter view, in top right, click Options Delete or Duplicate.

To remove all filters, go to each filter view and click Options Delete.

Tip: You can’t change the order of filter views.

See an existing filter view

Important: You can only apply one filter view at a time.

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click DataFilter views.
  3. Select a filter view.
  4. Your filter will be applied to the spreadsheet.
  5. To close your filter view, in the top right, click Close .

Save a filter as a filter view

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Apply a filter.
  3. Click DataFilter viewsSave as filter view.

Rename a filter view

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click DataFilter views.
  3. Select a filter view.
  4. At the top left of the sheet, next to “Name”, click the filter view name and type the new name.
  5. Press Enter.
  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Apply the filter view .
  3. Copy the URL.
  4. Share the filter view link.

Learn more about filters & filter views

Filters and filter views help you analyze a set of data in a spreadsheet.

I get cool ideas in my (occasional) interaction with my blog users. How to insert blank columns in Google Sheets Query is one such one.

One of my readers shared with me a Google Sheets file that contains a solved Query formula. He was unable to understand the formula due to the virtual columns created within the Query.

In that, the additional columns added were filled with the values 0. So in this post, I am going to explain the below Query tips and tricks.

1. How to Insert Blank Columns in Query in Google Sheets?

2. How to insert Columns with 0 Values in Google Sheets Query?

Once you have learned how to insert additional blank columns in Query or Query output, point # 2 (formula) will be easy for you to master.

Insert Blank Columns in Google Sheets Query

How to add columns on google sheets

I want to insert two blank columns between column A and B that in the Query output. To do that, I have two formula options.

Note:- You can tweak the formula to add ‘n’ number of blank columns in Query.

Formula Option # 1 to Insert Blank Columns in Query

First, let me show you how to insert blank columns in Google Sheets Query. Then we can see how to do the same in the Query output.

Formula # 1 to Insert Blank Columns in Query:

This formula will insert two blank columns in the existing data range as below (the Query is not necessary, though).

See the formula bar in the below screenshot).

How to add columns on google sheets

How to modify this formula to insert additional blank columns?

Here is the formula to insert three blank columns.

You can use the above Formula # 1 as the range in Query and do data manipulations. See that below.

Formula # 2 to Insert Blank Columns in Query Output:

I have explained how to insert Blank Columns in Google Sheets Query. There is one more method.

Formula Option # 2 to Insert Blank Columns in Query

The below Query inserts two blank columns.

I have put one space for the first column and two spaces for the second column. If you want one more column, put three spaces (within single quotes).

Here is the Query formula that returns blank columns in its output.

Which Query formula should I use?

I recommend Option # 1, Formula # 1 formula. Do you know the reason?

Even though Option # 1 and Option # 2 formulas return blank columns in Google Sheets Query, there is a difference.

If you check the blank columns returned by the Option # 1 formula using the ISBLANK function, you can see that it returns TRUE. But the Option # 2 formula returns FALSE. That means the Option # 2 formula returns blank columns with hidden values (space).

Final Verdict:

To Insert columns contain pure blank cells in Google Sheets Query, use my above Option # 1 formula.

Insert Columns Filled With 0 Values in Query

To insert columns with 0 values in Google Sheets Query, you just need to modify Option # 1, Formula # 1 as below.

How to add columns on google sheets

See the screenshot carefully. I have underlined the changes (in comparison with Option # 1, Formula # 1)

That’s all about how to insert blank columns in Google Sheets Query and also columns with 0 values. Enjoy!

In Excel, you can right-click drag a date downwards to fill a column with the next dates in the sequence. For example, if you enter 9/1/2014, select that cell, then right-click drag down over the cells below, Excel will fill those cells with 10/1/2014, 11/1/2014, etc for you. This doesn’t work with a single cell selection in Google Sheets – how can I get this to work?

How to add columns on google sheets

9 Answers 9

The key is to enter at least the first two values to get auto fill to work with a pattern

As it was already pointed out in other answers, you have to select at least two cells containing successive dates.

However, this didn’t work for me at first because my Google Sheet had the wrong locale and the cells had the wrong formatting.

Set the locale for your Google Sheet:

    File menu → Spreadsheet settings. → Set the correct locale

Configure the right date format for the cells:

  1. Select all the cells or the column that should contain the dates
  2. Format menu → Numbers → Date (if the desired date format is already available there. If not, go deeper into the menu with the next steps)
  3. → More formats → More date and time formats.
  4. Either pick a pre-defined date format from the list or configure your own How to add columns on google sheets

Now fill in the column with the successive dates:

This was already explained in other answers, but for completeness sake I explain it here again.

  1. Manually write two successive dates into two cells
  2. Select both cells (click the first, then shift-click the second).
  3. On bottom right corner of the blue selection rectangle you’ll see a little square. Drag that square and mark all cells that you want to populate with successive dates

All those cells should now be automatically filled with successive dates.