Shifting cells

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Previously we made changes to the contents of cells. In this operation our focus is on the entire cell, its content and physical presence. The Delete Cells... function, allows us to delete a range of cells and then shift a range of adjacent cells either from below or from the right into the position of the deleted cells.

To perform this function, we use the Delete Cells dialog, which is accessed through Edit > Delete Cells.... You may remember using this dialog box earlier to delete entire rows and columns, that is all (not some of) the cells in a row or column. Now let's take a look at the shifting function.

Icon activity.jpg Follow Along
Setup to view effects of cell deletion
Let's do some set up work in the Sheet1 of the conference expense budget so you can see the effect of the deletion. Enter marker data, alphabet letters, in the surrounding cells:
  • Consecutively label cells E3:E8: A, B, C, D, E, F
  • Consecutively label cells A8:D8: G, H, I, J

Let's shift the numbers in the Total Cost column to the left, as they are really the Unit Cost for each item. Rather than move the cell contents using cut and paste, we will delete the blank cells in C4:C6.

  • Hightlight the range C4:C6.
  • Select Edit > Delete Cells....
The Delete Cells dialog
The Delete Cells dialog displays.
  • Click on the Shift cells left radio button.
  • Click OK.

Notice that the markers B, C, and D are shifted one column to the left, under Total Cost, and the cost data is now displayed under Unit Cost. All of the other marker letters are unaffected.

Expense data shifted left from Total Cost to Unit Cost

Icon reflection.gif


Did you notice any difference between the way the Delete key and Delete Cells... work?

Icon activity.jpg Clean Up
Markers deleted
Before moving on, let's do some clean up work in your conference expenses file:
  1. Delete the marker values A-J.
  2. Enter the value "2" for Handouts under Unit Cost. (This is a person cost.)