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Difference between Rows and Columns

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Difference between Rows and Columns
Stechies

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet programs in the world. People have been using it for the last 30 years for handling data. Almost all data related tasks can be achieved through Excel.

Excel offers small to large businesses the tools to manage their financial information. It is used for number crunching, performing calculations, representing data through graphs and charts etc.

If you have worked on Excel you will come across a workbook. It is an MS Excel file that consists of one or more worksheets. Each worksheet consists of cells where you can store and work with your data. The fundamental component of any worksheet are cells and columns.

Column vs Row

Basis of comparison

Row 

Column 

Arrangement 

They go horizontally across the spreadsheet. They are spread from left to right. So, if anything is written in column A, B, C or D, the data is said to be in Row 1

They go vertically across the spreadsheet. They are spread from top to bottom. If data is written in A1, A2 or A3 it is all within column A

Indication  

The rows are indicated by the numbers located on the left of the sheet

The columns are indicated by the numbers located on the top of the sheet

In databases

They have various data fields in databases

They consist of a single data attribute

Table component

In a table, the stub present on the left side of the table defines the rows.

The top section of a table called caption is called column.

Lookup function

The H lookup function is used to compare data between rows.

The V lookup function is used to compare data between columns

Selection

For selecting an entire row, click on any cell in the row and hit Shift and the Spacebar

For selecting an entire column, click on any cell in the column and hit Ctrl and the Spacebar

Hiding rows and columns

To hide rows, after selecting rows to hide, right-click on them and select the Hide option

To hide columns, after selecting columns to hide, right-click on them and select Hide option

To Freeze

To freeze a row, Press the Alt key along with W+F+R

To freeze a column, Press the Alt key along with W+F+C

What is a Row in MS Excel?

In Excel, a set of horizontal cells is called a row. You will find them in any Excel worksheet. These horizontal rows are numbered from 1 to 1048576. By clicking on the row number, you can select any row. These numbers are marked on the left side of the worksheet.

The entire row can be selected by clicking on the headings of the rows. These headings determine the address of a particular cell. For example, the first cell of the worksheet will be labelled as A1. This means that it belongs to row number 1 and column number A.

To access the last row of a worksheet, press the Ctrl key and the down arrow key.

ROWS Function

The ROWS function is a very important function in MS Excel for counting rows. The function returns the number of rows within a given cell reference.

It has the following syntax:

=ROWS (array)

Here array is the range of cells among which you want the count of rows. For example,

=ROWS (A 1: A5) will return 5 as there are 5 rows between cell number A1 and A5.

What is a Column in MS Excel?

A set of cells running vertically across the worksheet or a table are called columns in Excel. They are named after alphabets. They start from A and go up to XFD. The total number of columns is 16384. You can identify the column using the column header on top of the column.

These columns are named by a special technique. They differ in their names after ending at Z, starting from the letter A. Then the next column is named AA, AB, AC and up to AZ. The other columns are named the same way.

You can select any column by clicking on the column header.

To access the last column of a worksheet, press the Ctrl key and the right arrow key.

COLUMN Function

The COLUMN function is used to determine the column number for any given reference.

It has the following syntax:

= COLUMN ([reference])

Here the reference is a given cell or a range of cells. For example,

= COLUMN (C2) will return a value 2 as C is the third column in the worksheet. In case you do not provide any reference, the function will return the column number of the cell that has the formula.

Conclusion

For storing data, rows and columns are the most important components of a table or spreadsheet. They are essential for distributing any set of data properly according to their attributes. In database management systems, the rows are called records. They contain data fields.

But the columns are referred to fields having multiple characters. You can use many useful functions like H Lookup, V Lookup, Index, Match, Offset and Sum to handle your data. All these will make use of the rows and columns in your worksheet.

So, to work with your data in MS Excel, you need to understand the basics of rows and columns. This will help you tackle more advanced Excel functions later on.