Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Moving Table Rows Quickly.

Moving Table Rows Quickly

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 21, 2021)

5

Word provides a handy shortcut that allows you to easily move rows around in a table. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the row you want to move or select the rows you want to move.
  2. While holding down the Shift and Alt keys, press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow to move the row.

It is interesting to note that when you are using this method, you can even move a row (or rows, since you can select more than one row in step 1) right out of the table. In other words, the moving doesn't stop when you reach the top or bottom of the table. As you continue pressing the Up Arrow or Down Arrow keys, the rows continue to move away from the table in the direction you choose.

This technique will not work to move columns, however. You should note that when you hold down the Shift and Alt keys and press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow, the heading level of the entire row is changed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8999) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Moving Table Rows Quickly.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Quickly Filling a Column

Excel has a great (and little known) shortcut for filling a column with information. It comes in very handy when you need ...

Discover More

Formatting Combo Box Text

If you insert objects, such as a combo box, in your worksheet, you may need a way to modify the font used in the object. ...

Discover More

Automatically Numbering Rows

Adding row numbers to a column of your worksheet is easy; you just need to use a formula to do it. Here's a quick look at ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Setting Consistent Column Widths in Multiple Tables

Tables are great for organizing and presenting information in a document. If you have a document containing multiple ...

Discover More

Splitting Table Cells

When formatting tables, you can both merge and split cells. Here's a couple of ways you can easily perform the latter ...

Discover More

Adjusting Column Width from the Keyboard

It's easy to adjust the width of table columns using the mouse, but what if you don't want to use the mouse? Adjusting ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 7?

2021-08-23 17:22:50

Susan Rogers

This is a life-changing tip! Especially with the addition of the other comments about other ways in which it works.

There is one exception to Austin's comment about moving whole paragraphs. This does NOT work (at least not for me) if the paragraph is within a table cell -- only when not in a table. But still, I wish I'd known this starting about 30 years ago.

Thanks so much.


2021-08-23 04:07:27

Mario

The equivalent of the Alt key on the Mac is Option, but for this trick the keys are Shift-Control. Control is right adjacent to the Shift key so this is actually sleeker!


2021-08-22 12:05:24

Austin

This same technique can be used to move whole paragraphs up or down. You don't even need to select the paragraph you want to move -- you only need to have your cursor anywhere within the paragraph.


2021-08-21 05:16:05

Andy

Also worth noting is this works just as well to move item(s) up and down in numbered lists and bulleted lists - and it also allows you to re-order paragraphs in a document. It's a really useful shortcut.


2021-08-21 04:23:23

David

Absolutely brilliant! So useful - I just wish I'd known about this before when reordering tables, it would have saved me so much time.
Thanks Allen.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.