How to Group Columns in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Grouping columns in Google Sheets is a simple way to organize your data and make your spreadsheet easier to read and navigate. All you need to do is select the columns you want to group, right-click, and choose the "Group columns" option. Let’s dive into the details.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Group Columns in Google Sheets

Before getting started, it’s important to know that grouping columns can help you manage large sets of data by allowing you to collapse or expand certain sections. This can be particularly helpful when dealing with complex spreadsheets.

Step 1: Select the Columns You Want to Group

Click and drag your mouse over the column headers you want to group.

Selecting the right columns is crucial. Make sure you don’t include columns that you want to remain visible at all times.

Step 2: Right-Click on the Selected Columns

After selecting the columns, right-click on one of the selected column headers to bring up the options menu.

The right-click menu is where you’ll find many useful options for managing your Google Sheets, including the grouping feature.

Step 3: Click on "Group Columns [X – Y]"

In the options menu, click on the "Group columns [X – Y]" option, where X and Y represent the range of columns you’ve selected.

Grouping columns will create a small bracket indicator at the top of your spreadsheet, which you can click to collapse or expand your grouped columns.

After completing these steps, you’ll see a small minus (-) sign at the top of the grouped columns. Clicking this will collapse the columns, making them hidden from view. To expand them again, simply click the plus (+) sign that appears in the same place.

Tips for Grouping Columns in Google Sheets

  • Ensure that you don’t have any merged cells in the columns you’re grouping, as this can cause issues.
  • Use grouping alongside color-coding to visually separate different sections of your spreadsheet.
  • Remember that grouping is different from freezing columns; grouping allows you to hide/show columns, while freezing keeps them in view as you scroll.
  • Take advantage of keyboard shortcuts to group (Alt + Shift + Right Arrow) and ungroup columns (Alt + Shift + Left Arrow) quickly.
  • Double-clicking the grouping indicator can expand or collapse all groups in your sheet at once.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I group non-adjacent columns in Google Sheets?

No, you can only group columns that are next to each other (adjacent). If you need to group non-adjacent columns, you’ll have to rearrange your data.

Will grouping columns affect my formulas?

Grouping columns will not affect any formulas. Your formulas will still reference the same cells, whether the columns are collapsed or expanded.

Can I group columns and rows at the same time?

Yes, you can group both columns and rows in the same sheet. Just follow the same steps for rows as you would for columns.

How do I ungroup columns in Google Sheets?

To ungroup columns, simply select the grouped columns, right-click, and choose the "Ungroup columns" option.

Can I create nested groups in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can create nested groups by grouping a set of columns and then grouping a subset of those columns.


  1. Select the columns you want to group.
  2. Right-click on the selected columns.
  3. Click on "Group columns [X – Y]".


Mastering how to group columns in Google Sheets can significantly improve your efficiency and organization when managing data. Whether you’re working on a complex budget, planning an event, or analyzing business metrics, grouping columns can help you focus on the relevant data without distractions.

Remember, grouping columns is just one of the many features Google Sheets has to offer. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with others such as conditional formatting, pivot tables, and data validation to further enhance your spreadsheet skills. And if you ever run into trouble or need to ungroup your columns, it’s just as easy to reverse.

Keep in mind that while grouping columns is a great way to manage your spreadsheets, it’s essential to use this feature judiciously. Overusing it can lead to confusion, especially if you’re sharing your spreadsheet with colleagues or team members. Always strive for clarity and simplicity in your data presentation.

In case you have specific scenarios or advanced data structure needs, the flexibility of Google Sheets allows for many workarounds and custom solutions. Don’t hesitate to look up additional resources or reach out to the Google Sheets community for support. Now go ahead, give it a try and see how grouping columns in Google Sheets can streamline your data management!