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: Easily Adding Blank Rows.

Easily Adding Blank Rows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 21, 2014)

There may be a time when you are working with a table and you want to insert a blank row between each existing row in the table. There are several easy ways to do this. If you don't want to use a macro, you can follow these steps:

  1. Insert a blank column anywhere in the list or table.
  2. Put the value 1 in the first table cell of the new column and the value 2 in the second cell.
  3. Select the two cells entered in step 2 and use the Fill handle to drag down to the last cell in the table. You should now have a column filled with consecutive numbers, 1 through however many rows there are in the table. These filled cells should still be selected.
  4. Press Ctrl+C. This copies the cells to the Clipboard.
  5. In the new column, just below the last cell, paste the copied cells. You should now have another range of cells below the table filled with the same consecutive numbers you created in step 3.
  6. Select any cell in the original table.
  7. Choose Sort from the Data menu. Excel selects the table, including the rows added in step 5, and displays the Sort dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  8. Figure 1. The Sort dialog box.

  9. Specify that you want to sort in ascending order by the new column that contains your numbers.
  10. Click on OK. The table is resorted.
  11. Delete the column you added in step 1.

The above steps work because of the way in which Excel does its sorting. If, for some reason, you end up with two blank rows next to each other (in other words, the sorting does not work exactly as it should have), then you can modify the process slightly. In steps 2, enter the numbers 1 and 3 in the top two cells. This results in odd numbers being filled down the new column. Instead of doing steps 4 and 5, you would simply fill a like area with even cells (simply fill the first cell with 2 and the second one with 4). When you then sort in steps 6 through 9, the resulting table has the rows interleaved in the proper order.

If you are not adverse to using macros, inserting the blank rows is even easier. Simply select the rows you want to affect, and then execute this macro:

Sub AddBlankRows()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim MySelection As Range

    If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then Exit Sub
    Set MySelection = Selection
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    For J = MySelection.Rows.Count To 1 Step –1
        MySelection.Rows(J).EntireRow.Insert
    Next J
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Of course, you should remember that if your only purpose in adding rows is to "space out" your information, you can achieve the same thing by simply increasing the height of each row in the table. You should only physically add blank rows if you need those rows in order to insert additional information in your data table.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3011) 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: Easily Adding Blank 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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