4 EXCEL training- Insert rows and columns

4. Insert rows and columns: Startup and investor excel model training

TL;DR: Learn the excel keyboard shortcut insert row to move your rows about.

Moving columns and rows around is another oldy but goody. It’s not ‘sexy’ but sexy is VERY overrated in excel. Solid basics are what get you done and done. I enjoy excel, but I LOVE being done 😉 Moving things around fast without a mouse is great for that!
Being able to do excel without a mouse is a key requirement for being an M&A banker. Ha, well in training anyway!

Intro to excel model training

This is part of a series on excel model training focused on helping founders and investors to actually enjoy and get proficient in excel. It’s such an important skill to have, and there’s no excuse to not be able to do all the ‘advanced’ stuff, let alone the basics.

This is a pragmatic course where you will only learn the most useful things; those that I actually use regularly. We’ll go through the obvious applications, but also include some hacks I’ve developed over the years.

To get the excel example for this and all the other installments, subscribe with the pretty box on the right and you’ll get the excel tip of the day sent directly to your inbox. Within a month and ten minutes practice, you’ll be a boss in no time.

You can join up to the training here.

What’s the point of insert rows and columns?

It’s what is says on the tin. Your whole model is just rows and columns? Do I really need to explain why moving them to where you want them super fast is valuable?

How do insert rows and columns work?

There are a couple of ways, with and without the mouse. I’m going to get you off your terrible mouse habit and teach you keyboard kung fu.
Now assuming you are using the template, first select the data by pressing CMD + up left/right etc to the top left corner.
Then press CMD+shift+left then right till you select the data.
Then CMD+down till you are in the top left of the green box. Press CMD+Option+V then V then enter. Now you have linked data in the green box (though you won’t see green anymore).
Now we want to move the column Profession in Column C to Column D. So tap right once to be in column C and press Control+space to select the column.
Press CMD+X to cut the column.

Press right to be in Column E.
Press Control+space again to select the column, then press CMD+Shift V to insert the column
You’ve reorganized the column. The same principle works for rows, but you use Shift+space to select the row and the same principle to insert the row.
Practice this! You will do it ALL THE TIME!

Useful hints

  • Just do this 10 times till you can do it without thinking. Seriously, it is so useful, you need to have it memorized. I can’t emphasize this enough!


The excel example sheet will help you to learn this with an example. It’s not a surprise outcome, but this is it:

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.58.42 AM 2.30.46 PM.png

Screen Shot 2017-07-11 at 12.58.49 AM 2.30.46 PM.png

To get the training model, subscribe to the series below.

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