Difference Between Rows and Columns in Excel

Difference Between Rows and Columns in Excel

We all have been knowing and working on Microsoft Excel for different works and platforms. It is famous for quick table formation, especially for the various formulas that can be applied to achieve aimed results from the table to save time. Rows and columns are the main components of Excel and possess many different properties that are different from each other. Today, we’ll be talking about the difference between rows and columns in Excel and how to utilize them in order to achieve maximum proficiency while working on Excel. But before jumping to the differences, let’s get to know a bit about Excel first.

Difference Between Rows and Columns in Excel

What is Difference Between Rows and Columns in Excel?

When using Excel, the phrases worksheet, Rows, Columns, and Cells are frequently used. In a worksheet, the user may save, edit, and change data in a number of cells on a single page. Spreadsheet is another name for a worksheet. There are rows, columns, and cells in it. Unlike A1, B25, or R867, each individual data cell in an Excel worksheet is defined and arranged with the aid of the vertical column and horizontal row that are combined to produce a cell reference. The requirements for the most recent versions of Excel Worksheet include:

  • There are 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns in each worksheet.
  • Character column width: 255
  • Row height: 409 points
  • 17,179,869,184 total cells per worksheet

There are a lot of minute aspects which formulate the difference between rows and columns in Excel. To start with, columns are assigned a letter. Column labels, such as A, B, C, and so on, are located at the worksheet’s top. The spreadsheet has numbered rows that are arranged in ascending order along its sides: 1, 2, 3, etc. Cells, which are just one of the boxes on a worksheet’s grid, are located at the junction of each row and column. By adding the column letter and the provided cell’s row number, each cell may be assigned a specific address. Cell B4, for instance, is located where row 4 and column B converge. The cell address box is located just above the labels for columns A and B and will always show the address of the selected cell. Let’s start by mentioning the various factors resulting in row column difference in Excel one by one.

1. Definitions

columns in Microsoft excel

  • Row – Any group of items or pieces of information that are arranged so that one may say that each one is to the left of or to the right of the others is referred to as a row.
  • Column – Columns arrange objects from top to bottom, unlike a row. All objects in a column are described as being either above or below another, as opposed to a row where things are to the left or right of one another. Hence, this is one of the main difference between rows and columns in Excel.

2. Count

  • Rows – There are 1048576 rows in all of Microsoft Office 10—rows range from 1 to the latter stated total count.
  • Columns – There are 16384 different numbers of columns in Microsoft Office 10. The columns go from A to XFD.

Also Read: How to Swap Columns or Rows in Excel

3. Selecting row/column

rows in Microsoft excel

  • Row – Press Shift+ Spacebar on your keyboard while hovering your mouse over any cell in the desired row to select the whole row.
  • Column – Selecting a whole column is as simple as holding down the Ctrl + Spacebar key combination while clicking on any cell in the desired column.

4. Selection of several rows/columns

  • Row – If you wish to select several aligned rows, choose a range that contains the cells of every row you want to select, then press Shift + Spacebar. For instance, let’s say you wish to choose Row 3 to Row 10. Starting with Row 3 through Row 10, you must first select at least one cell from each row. To select the appropriate rows, press Shift + Spacebar after that.
  • Column – Choose a range that contains cells from all the columns you wish to choose, then click Ctrl + Spacebar to select multiple neighboring columns at once. For instance, if you wish to pick Column C to Column F, you must select at least one cell from each of the four columns. Next, select all the relevant columns by using the Ctrl Spacebar key.

5. Hiding rows/columns

hide column

  • Rows – Select the row or rows you wish to conceal, then select Hide from the context menu by right-clicking on it.
  • Columns – Right-click on the column(s) you wish to conceal, then select Hide.

6. Unhide hidden row/columns

  • Rows – Choose Unhide from the context menu after selecting the full row that is above and below the concealed row.
  • Columns – To reveal a hidden column, pick the full column to its left and the complete column to its right, then right-click and choose Unhide.

7. Index function

  • Rows – For rows, the index is represented by the string row_num, which specifies the row number in the array where the result is to be delivered.
  • Column – The Excel array column number from which the result is to be returned is specified using the col_num function when dealing with columns. This is another difference between rows and columns in Excel.

8. Autofit content

  • Rows – By double-clicking the bottom edge of the underlying row, you may automatically fit the content in a row.
  • Columns – Double-click the bottom row boundary to automatically fit the content in the corresponding column.

9. Lookup function

  • Rows – When using the LOOKUP function, HLOOKUP compares data from row to row.
  • Columns – Vlookup compares the values in columns one by one in the Excel Lookup function.

Also Read: How to Copy and Paste Values Without formulas in Excel

10. Differences function


  • Rows – Using the same column as the active cells as a reference, the row differences command compares the cells in the specified range with those in that column.
  • Columns – Using the active cells as a starting point, the column differences command compares the cells in the given range to those in the adjacent rows.

Few more difference between rows and columns in Excel are given below.

11. Freeze function

  • Rows – By pressing Alt + W + F + R keys combination, you may freeze any particular row.
  • Columns – A key combination of Alt + W + F + C can be used to freeze any particular column.

Also Read: Fix Excel stdole32.tlb Error in Windows 10

12. Database access

  • Rows – Row access to documents is supported by NoSQL databases.
  • Columns – Unique column ids are used by relational databases to look up data.

13. Analysis

  • Rows – Under the last entry, sums of the content entered into the rows are displayed.
  • Columns – To the right of the last input, sums of the content entered into columns are displayed.

14. RDBMS databases

  • Rows – The word row refers to a group of fields that make up a record in a relational database. A whole record’s worth of data is included in a row of cells that run horizontally. Each field’s definition can be found in a distinct column, and a row can have as many fields as necessary. In order to add a row of data, a table must first have at least one specified column. In a table, the smallest unit of data that may be added or removed in a row.
  • Columns – A column in a relational database is a row of cells that are vertically arranged within a table. As well as other database objects like views, stored procedures, table-valued functions, etc., it is also used to define the vertical group of cells within a result set of a query.


These were the parameters that form the difference between rows and columns in Excel. MS Excel is an incredible software for tabling and economical purposes due to its efficient application of mathematical formulas for several purposes. As a result of this, most of the offices nowadays that have shifted to online working even expect employees to be handy in using Excel. Do share your stories around Excel and also mention how many of the above differences between Excel rows and columns have you known. Keep reading and supporting and we’ll see you in the next article with a new topic.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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