Skip to content

Dear Internet Explorer user: Your browser is no longer supported

Please switch to a modern browser such as Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to view this website's content.

Rearrange Excel columns via Visual Basic

A simple VBA script for rearranging the order of columns in an Excel spreadsheet.

In the following worksheet example, the columns are arranged in the order Header 1, Header 2, Header 3, Header 4, Header 5 and Header 6.

Screen shot of Excel.

An Excel spreadsheet for which the columns need to be rearranged.

The following Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) script will rearrange them in the order Header 6, Header 2, Header 1, Header 4, Header 5 and Header 3. Simply change the parameters in the code to suit the spreadsheet that you’re working on. Unlisted or missing columns will be ignored.

Sub Reorder_Columns()
Dim ColumnOrder As Variant, ndx As Integer
Dim Found As Range, counter As Integer
	ColumnOrder = Array("Header 6", "Header 2", "Header 1", "Header 4", "Header 5", "Header 3")  
counter = 1

Application.ScreenUpdating = False
   
For ndx = LBound(ColumnOrder) To UBound(ColumnOrder)   
    Set Found = Rows("1:1").Find(ColumnOrder(ndx), LookIn:=xlValues, LookAt:=xlWhole, SearchOrder:=xlByColumns, SearchDirection:=xlNext, MatchCase:=False)
    If Not Found Is Nothing Then
        If Found.Column <> counter Then
            Found.EntireColumn.Cut
            Columns(counter).Insert Shift:=xlToRight
            Application.CutCopyMode = False
        End If
    counter = counter + 1
    End If
Next ndx
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The result of this script is as shown:

Screen shot of Excel

Columns rearranged in an Excel spreadsheet

Activating the script

Step 1

Open the Excel sheet that needs to be modified.

Step 2

Press Alt + F11 or otherwise go to the Developer ribbon and choose the “Visual Basic” icon if the Developer Tab is enabled.

Step 3

In the Visual Basic for Applications toolbar, go to Insert > Module

Screen capture of Visial Basic for Applications

Inserting a module in Visual Basic for Applications.


Insert the above code into the module.

Step 4

Press F5 to run the macro and execute the code.

   

Comments

17 responses to “Rearrange Excel columns via Visual Basic”

On 10 May 2017, Michael Pluck wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Hmmm. For some reason, when I try to run the code I am getting a compile error and my column names are in red text. The only thing that I changed in the above code is my column names. Does the name of my spreadsheet or workbook matter?

Reply

On 10 May 2017, Michael Pluck wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Never mind. I changed my column names to header 1, etc. and it worked. Thank you very much for the code.

If you are going to publish my comments, please replace my last name to the initial “P.”

Reply

    On 31 July 2017, Adam Dimech wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

    Hello Michael, please refer to the Editorial Policy. Comments will be published as they’re received. If you don’t wish for your surname to be published then don’t supply it.

    Reply

On 23 June 2017, RobertSF wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Thank you! This was a great example. It was easy to understand and was just what I was looking for.

Reply

On 9 March 2018, Nagesh wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Working Great, thank you so much:)

Reply

On 12 April 2018, Praveen wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Thanks a lot,Really Helfulll

Reply

On 1 June 2018, Kaushik shetty wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Hello sir , this code helped me lot ,it reduced my 30 min of Daly work .

Reply

On 14 June 2018, NACHO wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Thanks! Saved me a lot of time.

Reply

On 17 July 2018, Prafull wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Thank you very much!

Reply

On 4 September 2018, KevinYen wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

It really helps! Thank you:D

Reply

On 6 September 2018, KevinYen wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

if some of those columns have a same name, ex: Header 1,Header 2, Header 2, Header 2, Header 3, Header 4, Header 5, Header 6 , “SearchDirection:=xlNext” may have a problem. I think “SearchDirection:=xlPrevious” is better.

Reply

On 11 September 2018, Carol wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

This worked for all the columns that were formatted as text. However, it ignore the columns that were formatted as Number (Accounting). Can you please add/include the Number format in the script.

Reply

On 6 June 2019, ABSExcel wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Really Nice code!!!

Reply

On 8 July 2019, natalie wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Works great, but I get a sytax error, I’m wanting to rearrange 100 – 120 columns, is there a limit?

Thanks!

Reply

On 4 April 2020, Dylan wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Hi Adam,

Great code, thank you! Can you describe how to rename the columns after moving, please?

Best,
Dylan

Reply

On 3 November 2020, bill Simpson wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Doesnt work. Nothing at all happens. Nothing. Not even an error. I think its missing some descriptive steps, more detailed example would be useful.

Reply

On 12 November 2020, Sam wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Thank you *so* much for sharing this! It totally automated a 111 column rearrangement flawlessly and made out reporting lives *so* much better. 10/10 would recommend again!

To any having problems:
Make sure the number of headers listed in the macro module and that are on your sheet match.
You can insert a row at the top and add “header 1”, “header 2”, “… 3”, “etc.”, (also see above) and run the macro.
You can copy your headers and replace “header 1”, “header 2”, “… 3”, “etc.” in the module, with the actual header titles you have on the sheet and run the macro.

Reply

Have Your Say

The following HTML is permitted:
<a href="" title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comments will be published subject to the Editorial Policy.