How to Collapse Columns in Excel – Microsoft Excel Tricks and Tips

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Excel is enriched with many features that help you in performing different simple to advanced functions. Today we will find an answer to how to collapse columns in Excel. If you know the basics of Excel, you must be familiar with the feature collapse used in Excel. When you collapse columns in Excel, it makes them disappear from view.

For large datasets, you would definitely need to minimize the data so that you can work on it easily. Larger worksheets often come up with unwanted columns and rows. You have to sort them out and by using some tricks the task would become as easy as a blink of an eye. Here you will get to know some highly useful tricks that help you in collapsing columns in Excel.

Suppose we have Mid-Term test scores of 10 students of an institute. In the dataset, we have the ID and Names of the students. Apart from that the dataset also has their English, Maths, and Social Science marks along with their total marks respectively.

Now, here using this dataset we will collapse columns D, E, and F.

Collapse Columns in Excel Using Group Feature

This is the first method that uses the Group feature to collapse columns in Excel. Let’s go ahead:

  1. Firstly you have to choose the columns that needed to collapse. For this, put the cursor on the column header. Now, move the cursor to the column heading toward the column you need to collapse. Keep the mouse on a long single click while doing this. That way you will choose columns D:F.
  2. Now, open the Data tab.
  3. Choose the Group drop-down from the Outline group.
  4. From the drop-down list, click on the Group.

  1. Once the above steps are completed your selected columns will be grouped on the upper side.
  2. Click on the minus sign.
  3. Now, you can see that columns D:F are collapsed.
  4. Now, click on the plus sign given at the top of column G.
  5. Well, in the end, you can unhide or expand the collapsed columns once again.
  6. On the top left side, you will see a button click on it.

  1. Now, in our dataset, you can see three columns are collapsed.
  2. And you can see column C and column G both are placed beside each other.

Utilizing Context Menu to Collapse Columns in Excel

In this method, you will see how to collapse columns in Excel using the context menu. We have three columns of marks for three subjects. Using the same dataset, let’s understand how to use the context menu:

  1. First of all, choose columns in the D:F range.
  2. Now, right-click anywhere on the selected cells.
  3. Choose the Hide option given in the context menu.

  1. Eventually, your columns D, F, and E are collapsed.

Isn’t this method a simple one?

Using Ribbon to Collapse Columns in Excel

From the Home tab ribbon, you can choose options that help you collapse columns. Here in this method, you will find some of those options.

  1. First of all, choose columns in the D:F range.
  2. Now, open the Home tab.
  3. Choose the Format drop-down menu from the Cells group.
  4. Click on the Hide and Unhide options placed under the Visibility option.
  5. Select Hide Columns from the options available there.

  1. Now, you can see that columns D:F both are collapsed.

Applying Keyboard Shortcut

Shortcuts are for those who don’t want to spend time on different methods. If one method does not work then try another one. Some people just don’t want to be a part of this group that continues trying multiple methods for one query.

Keyboard shortcut methods are specifically made for those ones. And these shortcuts are really effective as well.

A quick and fast method to collapse columns in Excel is to use keyboard shortcuts in Excel. Here are the steps:

  1. Click on any cell of Column D.
  2. Press the CTRL + SPACEBAR at the same time.
  3. It will select the entire column.
  4. Now, press the SHIFT key and click on the right arrow key from the keyboard twice. It will select from Column D to Column F.
  5. Last but not the least, press CTRL + 0 from your keyboard, and your columns will collapse.

Final Thoughts

So, this is it. You have different methods that let you collapse columns in Excel easily. Some methods are truly simple and some needs you to follow lengthy steps, but in the end, all the methods are worth trying. Each method has its own significance because all of them provide reliable results.

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