Microsoft’s Excel is an indispensable tool for the work place, thanks to it's multitude of features, and will no doubt remain so at least for the near future. I also use it on a regular basis and generally consider myself an advanced user. Even so, given it’s complexity, it never hurts to find out new tricks to speed up your workflow or to change it altogether.
One of my sources of information is the Microsoft Office blog at TechRepublic. One of their recent articles detailed a workaround for adding several blank rows between rows already filled with data at once, without repeating the right-click-Insert routine for each new row. While the idea is ingenious, it’s by far not the easiest way to do this in Excel.
As usual, the simplest solution is not obvious from the beginning. Here, the trick is to select all the rows in the spreadsheet where you need new blank rows separately before inserting. To do that hold down the Ctrl-key before clicking on the row placeholder on the left side of the spreadsheet and with the key still pressed select the other rows one by one. Only after you have finished selecting the rows you should right-click and use the ‘Insert’ command. Or, better yet, use Ctrl++ from the keyboard for the same effect.
Done! No need to reserve an empty column, type in numbers or use sorting. This method is also more flexible, because the discontinuous selection with Ctrl allows you to choose any rows in the sheet, not only the adjacent ones. But the method presented by TechRepublic could be successfully used in online spreadsheet apps, like Google Docs, where you can’t make discontinuous selections.
As with single rows inserts, Excel adds them above the selection, so keep that in mind when you choose the initial selection. The same trick works with columns too, and it adds them to the left of the existing ones.
While I don’t have a copy of Office 2007 to test this, it should work there as well, because the new version didn’t change the keyboard shortcuts, only the menus.