How to Group Columns Next to Each Other in Excel (2 Easy Ways)

In this article, we will learn to group columns next to each other in Excel. Unfortunately, you can’t start a new group right next to another group of columns. Excel will combine the new group of columns with the previous one automatically. To overcome this, we will use an effective technique in today’s article. After reading the article, you will also be able to group columns next to each other in Excel. But for that to happen, you need to go through the whole article. So, without any delay, let’s start the discussion.


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2 Easy Ways to Group Columns Next to Each Other in Excel

To explain the article, we will use a dataset that contains information about the Sales Amount for the first five months of some sellers. In our dataset, we have 6 columns. We will try to group Columns C & D first and then, group Columns E & F next to the previous one.


1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

In the first method, we will use the keyboard shortcuts to group columns next to each other in Excel. In Microsoft Excel, most of the commands can be implemented with keyboard shortcuts. As we stated in the introduction, you can’t group columns next to each other but you can use some tricks here. The tricks are to insert a new column and decrease the column width according to your preference.

Here, we will group Columns C & D first and then, group Columns E & F next to the previous one.

Let’s pay attention to the steps now and see what we need to do to group adjacent columns.

STEPS:

  • First of all, you have to insert a new column between Group 1 & Group 2.
  • That means you need to select the first column of Group 2.
  • In our case, Columns C & D form Group 1, and Columns E & F form Group 2.
  • That is why we have selected Column E.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • Secondly, right-click on Column E.
  • It will open the Context Menu.
  • Select Insert from there.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • After selecting Insert, the dataset will look like the picture below.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • Thirdly, select the first column of Group 1.
  • In our case, that is Column C (in the updated dataset after inserting a new column).

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • Now, press Alt + Shift + Right Arrow on the keyboard.
  • A negative () sign will appear.
  • Then, select Column D.
  • Again, press Alt + Shift + Right Arrow together.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • It will group Columns C & D. You can see that in the picture below.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • You can press the negative () sign to hide the grouped columns.
  • After pressing the negative () sign, a plus (+) sign will appear.
  • You can unhide the grouped columns using the plus (+) sign.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • In the following step, select Column F.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • Press Alt + Shift + Right Arrow keys together.
  • Next, select Column G.
  • Once again, hit the Alt + Shift + Right Arrow keys on the keyboard.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • After completing the previous steps, you will see grouped columns like below.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

  • Finally, decrease the column width to show the groups next to each other.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Group Excel Columns Next to Each Other

Read More: How to Create Multiple Groups in Excel (4 Effective Ways)


2. Group Columns Next to Each Other from Data Tab in Excel

We can also group columns next to each other from the Data tab in Excel. This process is quite similar to the previous one. But we will use the Data tab instead of keyboard shortcuts here. So, without further ado, let’s follow the steps below.

STEPS:

  • In the first place, select Column E and rightclick on the mouse.
  • It will open the Context Menu.
  • Select Insert from there.

Group Columns Next to Each Other from Data Tab in Excel

  • After that, select Cell C6 & D6.
  • We have selected these two cells because we want to group Columns C & D.
  • You can select any two adjacent cells from the desired columns.
  • For example, if you want to group Columns M, N, and O then, you can select Cells M1, N1, and O1 together.

Group Columns Next to Each Other from Data Tab in Excel

  • In the following step, go to the Data tab and select the Group icon.

Group Columns Next to Each Other from Data Tab in Excel

  • A message will pop up.
  • Select Columns and click on OK.

Group Columns Next to Each Other from Data Tab in Excel

  • After clicking OK, Columns C & D will be grouped.

Group Columns Next to Each Other from Data Tab in Excel

  • In the next step, select Cell F6 & G6 to group Columns F & G.

  • Then, navigate to the Data tab and select the Grouped.
  • Instantly, you will see results like the screenshot below.

  • In the end, decrease the column width of Column E.


How to Ungroup Columns Next to Each Other in Excel

In this section, we will discuss the steps to ungroup columns next to each other in Excel. You can use the same procedure to ungroup rows in Excel. Now, follow the steps below to know more about the method.

STEPS:

  • Firstly, select adjacent cells of the grouped columns.
  • We have selected Cell C6 and D6.

  • Secondly, click on the Data tab in the ribbon.
  • Then, select the Ungroup icon.

  • A message box will occur.
  • Select Columns and click OK.
  • To ungroup rows, you need to select Rows in this step.

  • Finally, Columns C & D will be ungrouped.
  • You can repeat the same steps to ungroup Columns F & G.


Things to Remember

It is better to remember a few things while you are trying to group columns next to each other in Excel.

  • In Microsoft Excel, you can’t create two separate groups right next to each other. It is a limitation of Excel.
  • You need to press the Alt + Shift + Right Arrow every time you want to add a column to the existing group.
  • In Method-2, don’t use the Ctrl key to select multiple columns at a time. Instead, use the mouse to select adjacent cells of the desired columns.

Conclusion

In this article, we have demonstrated 2 easy ways to Group Columns Next to Each Other in Excel. I hope this article will help you to perform your tasks easily. Moreover, we have also discussed the method to ungroup excel columns next to each other in the last section. Furthermore, we have also added the practice book at the beginning of the article. To test your skills, you can download it to exercise. Visit the ExcelDemy website for more articles like this. Last of all, if you have any suggestions or queries, feel free to ask in the comment section below.


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Mursalin

Mursalin

Hi there! This is Mursalin. I am an Excel and VBA content developer as well as an electrical and electronics engineer. I am always motivated to gather knowledge from different sources and find solutions to problems in easier ways. I am currently working and doing research on Microsoft Excel. Here I will be posting articles related to Microsoft Excel.

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