Moving Cells by Drag-and-Drop

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When you drag-and-drop a selection of cells, rows or columns on a Calc sheet, the cells (including the ones in selected rows or columns) normally overwrite the existing cells in the area where you drop. This is the normal overwrite mode.

Note that to drag-and-drop entire rows or columns, you must select the rows or columns you want to move (or copy) first, then start dragging from selected cells, not from the row or column headers (cells would be deselected by this).

When you hold down the Alt key while releasing the mouse button, you enter the insert mode.

  1. In insert mode, the existing cells where you drop will be shifted to the right or to the bottom, and the dropped cells are inserted into the now empty positions without overwriting.
  2. The surrounding box of the moved cells looks different in insert mode.
    In overwrite mode you see all four borders around the selected area. In insert mode you see only the left border when target cells will be shifted to the right. You see only the upper border when target cells will be shifted down.
    Whether the target area will be shifted to the right or to the bottom depends on the distance between source and target cells, if you move within the same sheet. It depends on the number of horizontal or vertical cells in the moved area, if you move to a different sheet.
  3. If you move cells in insert mode within the same row (only horizontally), then after insertion of the cells, all cells will be shifted to the left to fill the source area.

In both modes, you can hold down the Ctrl key, or Ctrl+Shift keys while you release the mouse button to insert a copy or a link, respectively.

Keys pressed while releasing the mouse button Result
No key Cells are moved and overwrite the cells in the target area. Source cells are emptied.
Ctrl key Cells are copied and overwrite the cells in the target area. Source cells stay as they are.
Ctrl+Shift keys Links to the source cells are inserted and overwrite the cells in the target area. Source cells stay as they are.
Alt key Cells are moved and shift the cells in the target area to the right or to the bottom. Source cells are emptied, except if you move within the same rows on the same sheet.

If you move within the same rows on the same sheet, the cells in the target area shift to the right, and then the whole row shifts to fill the source area.

Alt+Ctrl keys Cells are copied and shift the cells in the target area to the right or to the bottom. Source cells stay as they are.
Alt+Ctrl+Shift keys Links to the source cells are inserted and shift the cells in the target area to the right or to the bottom. Source cells stay as they are.

Related Topics

Referencing Other Sheets

Dragging and Dropping Within a LibreOffice Document