Deleting columns in multiple worksheets

Occasional Contributor

The directions I've found online for deleting columns in multiple worksheets doesn't work. I can select a group of worksheets, all formatted the same, but when I do that the "delete" functions all turn gray except for DELETE WORKSHEETS.  I want to delete, for instance, Columns A-C across six worksheets. How do I do that, please? There's got to be a way!  Thank you in advance

14 Replies



You may hold the Ctrl key and select the desired worksheets and then click and hold  on column letter A and drag to the column letter C to select columns A:C. Then right click on one of the selected column and choose Delete.

@Subodh_Tiwari_sktneer  "delete" is still gray and unselectable.  


I have 4 worksheets selected/grouped.  I selected A-C on the first sheet.  Right clicked and no delete is available for selection.  Only cut, copy, format, column width, hide and unhide are selectable. Under Delete in the toolbar, only delete sheet is selectable.  



Maybe your sheets or workbook are protected?

1. select your work sheet with control + shift
2. select your delete area
3. press ctrl + delete or removing column press ctrl + -

@Subodh_Tiwari_sktneer Hi
Click on the tab at the bottom of the screen of the first worksheet and then shift click on the last tab and you should have selected all the worksheets.
Click on Column A whilst all the sheets are selected and Shift Click on column C
Point the mouse pointer at any of the selected letters A to C and click the right mouse button, then select Delete.
If delete is grayed then that suggests that your worksheets are protected. You need to turn the protection off.

@Subodh_Tiwari_sktneer  That's what I thought as well, as the original template is not mine. But when I go to "unprotect," it doesn't show it as "protected." But maybe *because* the original author isn't me?

If you save it as another file name and open that up, can you then do it?
When you click on the Review menu, you have protect or unprotect Worbook and also Protect or unprotect Worksheet. Which one are you trying to unprotect?

@Les_Worrall It doesn't indicate that either sheets or workbook are protected. 


It has to be that the template was created by someone else.  It doesn't tell me it's protected as it gives ME the option to protect (but no "unprotect") it but it won't allow me delete columns either.


I tried removing the author and saving it separately but it still won't permit me to delete.  


Thanks for all the help, everyone.



@SusanRN  OK Have a look at the following.
Click on the first worksheet, then select
File > Info > Protect  > Workbook

What do you see? Are there any indications that something has been protected possibly with a password?

@SusanRN Can you answer a question please and honestly.

How did you come by this workbook? Are you even allowed to use a copy (meaning copyright protection)?

I ask this, because as such, I don't think anybody can support you if you have obtained this workbook illegally. This by no means suggest that you have done that, but need to be sure.

@Les_Worrall LOL, no it's not illegally obtained.  It's a table we use at work and maybe it's because it's a pivot table?  A co-worker built the template.  Every morning, I copy data from another worksheet, then "refresh data" to produce the results and then create worksheets based off the pivot table results...creating 8 worksheets within the workbook.  There's way more information than we need in the individual worksheets and I was looking to create worksheets that were more meaningful and less overloaded with extraneous data that the raw data pulls in.  

@Les_Worrall When I select file -> info ->   The first box is "protect workbook."  If i click on that, it gives me several other options ("always open as read only," "encrypt with password," "protect current sheet," etc. 

@SusanRN That makes sense. I used to make spreadsheets for people who worked for me and I made sure they couldn't alter them, as I needed them back for my purposes and I didn't want to spend ages correcting their ideas. Sounds to me you just have to do as you are told Been great talking to you and good luck.