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How To Shift Cells Left in Excel (Step-By-Step Guide)

October 17, 2023 2.8K views

In Microsoft Excel, shifting cells to the left typically refers to moving the content of cells to the left while maintaining their relative positions within a row. This action is usually performed to make space for new data or rearrange your spreadsheet's layout.

But some users don't know how to shift cells left in Excel. That’s why we are going to explain some simple ways to do this. Read below to find out complete details.

Part 1 What are the shift cells left in Excel?

In Microsoft Excel, the "Shift Cells Left" command refers to a feature that allows you to move the selected cells or range of cells to the left, essentially shifting their contents to the left-hand side while maintaining the overall structure of the worksheet.

This operation is typically performed when you want to delete a column or a range of cells within a row while shifting the remaining cells to the left to fill the gap. This ensures that the data in the affected row remains intact while eliminating the unwanted cells.

Keep in mind that this operation will result in the loss of any data in the columns that are shifted off the worksheet. So, make sure you have backed up your data or created a copy of your worksheet before doing this.

Part 2:How to shift cells left in excel?

Shifting cells left can come in handy if you have been working with MS Excel and have some blank cells in your data. You will want to delete those blank cells and move the data to the left to adjust that blank space. To achieve this, follow the steps mentioned below in detail:

Step 1: To start with shifting cells to the left in Excel, you will have to first open a workbook in MS Excel on your PC or Mac. Now open the file you are working on or open any other random file with blank spaces between the data.

MS Excel file option

MS Excel file option


Step 2: After opening the file, go to data and select all the data available in the sheet. Now that you have selected the data press Ctrl + G.

”MS Excel selected data range”

”MS Excel selected data range”

Step 3: After pressing these keys, there will be a pop-up box on your screen. Press the “Special” button on the pop-up menu and you will be taken to another menu.

”MS Excel Go To option”

”MS Excel Go To option”

Step 4: From the options in this menu, select Blanks to select all the blank cells in your data range. After selecting this, press OK.

MS Excel Go To Special

MS Excel Go To Special

Step 5: After pressing OK, you will see that all the empty cells in the data range are selected. Now, you can easily delete these cells and fill up their places with other values.

On the selected cells, right-click, and you will see multiple options in the menu. From these options, click Delete to delete cells with blank spaces.

MS Excel Delete selected

MS Excel Delete selected

Step 6: On the newly appeared menu, click Shift cells left and opt for OK. It will move all the cells to the left and will also delete all the blank cells in the selected data range.

”MS Excel shift cells left”

”MS Excel shift cells left”

Step 7: You can see that all the cells are now aligned left, and there are no blank spaces left in the selected data range.

”MS Excel cells shifted left”

”MS Excel cells shifted left”

Following these steps, you can easily shift cells in Excel and eliminate all blank spaces in the data range. This allows you to see data in an ordered form, which both looks good and can be easy to manage.

Part 3: A Free Alternative Choice to Microsoft Excel - WPS Office

As we have seen, you can use MS Excel to shift cells left in any data range you want. Excel does it all in a very smooth way. However, in order to use MS Excel on your PC, you will have to pay a monthly subscription fee or one-time purchase fee. This can be costly for some users.

WPS Office main screen

WPS Office main screen

That’s why we recommend you use a free alternative to Microsoft Excel, that is WPS Office Suite. WPS Office is a complete productivity Office Suite containing all the applications similar to MS Office. It has its own Word Processor, Spreadsheet Editor, and Presentation Creator. The best part about this is you don’t have to pay any kind of fee to download and use WPS Office Suite.

Using this software, you can create, edit, save, and share Microsoft Office files, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Moreover, this Office Suite is fully compatible with Windows and Mac.

Below are some of the advantages of WPS Office for users.

Pros of WPS Office:

Free to Download and Use

As mentioned above, WPS Office is absolutely free to download and use on both Windows and Mac devices. You can use all of its applications like Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF toolkit for free on any operating system.

Rich Template Store

WPS provides a rich template store that offers templates for every office application. You can find templates for your CV, resume, household budget, workouts, and creative presentations in this store. This store is accessible both online and within the WPS Office applications.

Wide Variety of Functions

Just like Microsoft Office, WPS Office has a wide variety of functions to create and edit files. Sometimes, the functions even surpass Microsoft Office, especially in the case of the PDF toolkit. With the PDF editor available in WPS Office, you can open, edit, and convert PDF files back and forth with extreme ease.

Light Weight Software

While Microsoft Office will take much of your computer space, WPS Office is light on your PC. The setup is only of some Megabytes which doesn’t take much space to be installed and used. This leads to a smooth operation during your usage.

Support Online Documents

Just like other top-quality software, WPS Office has the ability to support online documents. You can use WPS Office to open documents from your OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

Safe and Stable

If you have a concern about using other Office software, you shouldn't when you are using WPS Office. With continuous security updates and password protection features, WPS is one of the most secure Office software available.

How to download the WPS Office?

Step 1: Go to the WPS official website on your PC Or Mac and stay on the homepage.

WPS Office website homepage

WPS Office website homepage

Step 2: Here you will see Free Download options on the main header as well as below the header on the hero header. You can click these options and get WPS on your PC.

WPS Office download option

WPS Office download option

Step 3: If you want to download this software for any other device or operating system, you can do this by scrolling the homepage and going down to find options to download WPS for multiple devices. Select any device or operating system you want it for and press Download.

”WPS Office download for Windows”

”WPS Office download for Windows”

Step 4: As soon as you press Download, your download will be started and you can see the progress in the download panel.

WPS download panel

WPS download panel

Step 5: After the download has been finished, you can locate the WPS Office installation file in the computer and right-click it. From the options, select Run as administrator to install WPS Office on your PC.

WPS Office menu

WPS Office menu

Step 6: A pop-up will appear on the screen to ask you to accept the license agreement. Press Install Now to start the installation.

WPS Office installation window”

WPS Office installation window”

Step 7: WPS Office will download some more installation files and will start the installation automatically.

WPS Office installation download

WPS Office installation download

Using this simple method, you can download and install WPS Office on your PC. Remember, you don’t have to pay any fee to download and use WPS Office because its basic version is completely free for users.

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FAQs

  1. What is the shortcut to shift cells up in Excel?

The best shortcut to shift cells up in Excel is to use the "Ctrl" + "-" keys. Here's how: Select the cell(s) that you want to shift up. Press "Ctrl" + "-" (minus sign) on your keyboard.

  1. How do I change the direction of a row in Excel?

Select and copy the needed range. Right-click on a cell where you want to convert rows to columns. Select the Paste Transpose option to rotate rows to columns.

How to Shift Cells Left in Excel and WPS Office

We have successfully learned how to shift cells left in Excel. However, as mentioned above, if you don’t want to pay any monthly subscription fee, you can opt out of Microsoft Excel and start using WPS Office.

WPS Office comes with each and every functionality WPS Office has to offer, but the only difference is that it is completely free to use, unlike Microsoft Office. You can shift cells left and perform other functions in WPS Spreadsheet software, and you won’t feel any difference.


15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.