Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Inserting and Copying Rows.

Inserting and Copying Rows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 1, 2014)


As you are editing worksheets, you may notice that some of your work is done based on work you have done before. For instance, you may have a row of data that you entered in a previous Excel session. In this session, you need to copy that row of data and use it as the basis for your new data, but with a few changes.

In such a situation, it would be nice to have a quick way to enter a blank row after the current row, and copy the data in the current row to the new blank row. There are no intrinsic commands in Excel to do this, but a macro can do it very handily. Consider the following example:

Sub InsertCopyRow1()
    Selection.Insert Shift:=xlDown
End Sub

In order to use the macro, all you need to do is select a cell in any row. When the macro is run, a duplicate of the current row is inserted just below the row you are in.

The only problem with this solution is that it leaves the Excel interface a bit "messy" (for lack of a better word). When completed, a complete row is still selected, and the new row has the "marching ants" marquee around it.

This problem can be overcome by including commands to collapse the selection and move it to a desired location. Another way is to simply use a different macro that relies on different VBA commands. The following macro will also insert and copy a row, but it leaves the cell that you selected active:

Sub InsertCopyRow2()
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).EntireRow.Insert
    ActiveCell.EntireRow.Copy ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).EntireRow
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2042) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Inserting and Copying Rows.

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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What is 1 + 5?

2017-04-05 08:00:16


InsertCopyRow1 won't work if you are trying to duplicate a row in range that is a table. You'll get an error message (see Figure 1 below)
InsertCopyRow2 works perfectly though. Thanks Allen

Figure 1. 

2016-01-04 23:22:58



Is there a way to run this on x number of rows? At the moment I have to run the macro on each row in order to duplicate it.

Thanks for your help.

2012-08-30 09:33:57

Ron Mytko

An easier way is to select the entire row, right click the border and drag down to where you want to insert a new row, then from the context window select "Shift Down and Copy".

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