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 March 14, 2020)

6

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. ...

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Comments

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What is four more than 9?

2019-11-02 16:16:50

Brenda Lynne

I have found that it's easiest to move rows (and columns!) around in a table by selecting the row(s) or column(s) that you would like to move, and then simply click and drag them where you want them to go.

Also, I've noticed that the SHIFT+ALT+UP/DOWN keys method doesn't work on some keyboards, such as the MS Surface keyboard and some laptops. I'm assuming it's the lack of a number keypad that makes the difference, as that tends to cause issues with other types of shortcuts as well. At the very least, it makes it more complicated/adds extra steps.


2019-07-10 13:49:47

Stephen Yeo

One of my favourite tips.

Tried to explain it to someone using Word for the Mac, without success.

Does this tip work (with some modification of the keys) on the Mac?


2015-03-12 17:19:04

Robert Meek

Great tip and presentation.
Easy to find, read, and implement.

Nice style, thank you!


2015-01-09 13:41:33

Valerie

VERY unreliable. I'm searching for another way. Once in a blue moon it actually works, but often it duplicates rows, pastes data in, moves the selection, and/or refuses to do anything.


2014-12-15 17:50:48

Billy

Merged columns can confuse this and make it stop working. Try inserting a row between the row you want to move and the row with the merged cells. You can delete the dummy row when you complete the move. Exiting and re-opening the document might also help if the row gets "stuck."


2014-12-11 15:40:43

Bill

Works like a charm!


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