If you can't cut it, swap it

One question we often ask each other is "How did you do that?" The curiosity towards small or big facts drives our constant learning. We guarantee that once you master this swapping trick, your colleagues will ask you this question at least once.

The default method is to cut and paste

There are several occasions when you need to swap the contents of two adjacent cells or ranges in Excel. It can be that the data is entered incorrectly or you want to reorder the columns.

The go-to approach for many Excel users would take three moves:

  • Cut and paste the data from the first column to a blank column

  • Cut and paste the content of the second column in the place of the first one

  • Cut and paste the content of the first column in the place of the second one

This is rather time-consuming. Also, for large data sets, the likelihood of making a mistake is huge.

Save time and increase accuracy by swapping the contents of two ranges

Luckily, we have a neat little trick to show you. Take a look at this easy way to swap around the data:


Intrigued? Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Select the cell or range you want to swap.
  2. Move the cursor to the right border of the selected area until it changes from a regular cross to a 4-sided arrow.
  3. Press and hold down the Shift key and drag the selection to the right border of the next cell or range.
  4. Release the mouse when the "工" sign appears and then release Shift.

Practice makes perfect

The swap needs some practice, and we have the right opportunity for that. Try it out in this downloadable file and see for yourself how handy it is.

This is just one of the many shortcuts and methods we teach at 5miles to help you work smarter.