How to group rows and columns in Excel

By July 24, 2017 July 6th, 2020 Tech Tip
Grouping in Excel

Grouping rows or columns in Excel can be very useful if you want to visually group items under a heading, or if you want to be able to hide or show data for better display. Grouping can be very useful in accounting spreadsheets. This is how you do it!

Grouping rows or columns

  1. In your Excel spreadsheet, select the cells that you want to collapse. Do not select any cells that you want to remain visible – such as headings or labels or totals.
  2. With your cells selected, go to Data on the Ribbon toolbar. On the far right side, in the Outline group, click the Group button.
  3. Choose “Rows” (to collapse vertically) or “Columns” (to collapse horizontally).Grouping rows and columns in Excel
  4. Click OK.
  5. A collapse/expand icon will appear in the left margin for rows and in the top margin for columns. You can use this to “toggle” between the open and closed states.

Grouping rows and columns in Excel

Keep in mind when choosing between rows and columns to collapse that you cannot just collapse cells. If you have additional data in the same row – but farther to the left or right of your selected data – that data will collapse into the group as well. The same goes for choosing “column”, as data above or below your selected cells in the same columns will also collapse.

Ungrouping

If you want to remove your grouping, select the grouped rows or columns again. Go back to Data > Outline on the Ribbon toolbar, and choose Ungroup.

Moving the summary rows/columns

If you want your summary rows and thus your expand/collapse icon to be at the top or the bottom of grouped rows, or the left or right of grouped columns, you can change the placement. Go to Data > Outline on the Ribbon toolbar. Click the expand icon for advanced options in the bottom right corner of the Outline group.

 

If you leave the Direction options unchecked, the summary rows will be at the top of grouped rows and to the left of grouped columns. Switch the direction by selecting the option to move to below or right.


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