How to Make Smaller Columns Under the Main Excel Column: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making smaller columns under a main Excel column is a nifty trick to organize your data better. It’s like building a treehouse under the shadow of a big tree – the main column being the tree and the smaller columns, the treehouse. You want to create a subcategory without losing sight of the main category, right? Well, that’s exactly what you’re doing here. This guide will show you how to do that in a few simple steps.

After completing the action of making smaller columns under the main Excel column, you’ll have a neatly organized spreadsheet. Your data will be easier to navigate, and you’ll be able to spot trends, outliers, and essential details much faster. Plus, it’s a great way to present your data in a more digestible format for your audience.


Have you ever felt like your Excel spreadsheet is a bit like the Wild West? Data sprawling everywhere, columns stretching on into the sunset, and you’re the lone ranger trying to bring some order to the chaos. Well, partner, you’ve come to the right place. Making smaller columns under a main column in Excel is like building corrals for your data ponies. It’s all about creating a structure that’s easy to understand and navigate.

This method isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s a practical way to manage and analyze your data effectively. It’s relevant for anyone who uses Excel – from students trying to keep track of their study schedule to business analysts crunching big numbers. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned Excel wrangler, knowing how to create smaller columns under a main one is a skill that’ll serve you well. It’s like having a Swiss Army knife in your data analysis toolkit. So, saddle up, and let’s ride through the process.

Step by Step Tutorial – Creating Smaller Columns in Excel

Let’s dive into the steps that will transform your Excel spreadsheet.

Step 1: Select the Main Column

Click on the header of the column under which you want to create smaller columns.

This is your starting point. Think of it as planting a flag in the ground to declare, “This is where I’ll build my data mansion!” The main column you select will be the ‘parent’ column, and the smaller columns will be the ‘children’. You want to make sure you’ve got the right ‘parent’ before you start bringing ‘children’ into the world.

Step 2: Insert Columns

Right-click and select ‘Insert’ to add new columns to the right of the selected main column.

You’re making room for your smaller columns – it’s like clearing the land before you start building. You can insert as many columns as you need, depending on how many ‘children’ you want your ‘parent’ column to have. Each new column is a new room in your data mansion, ready to be filled with valuable information.

Step 3: Merge Cells for the Main Column Header

Highlight the cells above the smaller columns and select ‘Merge & Center’ to create a single header for the main column.

This step is like putting a roof on your data mansion. By merging the cells, you create a unifying header that clearly indicates what the smaller columns beneath it are all about. It’s about creating a hierarchy of information that’s easy for anyone to understand at a glance.


Organized DataHaving smaller columns under a main column helps to keep your data well-organized. It’s like having a tidy room where you can find everything you need without any hassle.
Easy NavigationIt makes navigating through a lot of information much easier. Imagine a library with clearly labeled sections – that’s what your Excel sheet will feel like.
Better AnalysisWith a structured data setup, analyzing figures and drawing insights becomes a breeze. It’s like having a map when you’re navigating a new city – it just makes everything simpler.


ComplexityFor beginners, setting up smaller columns might seem complex. It’s like trying to solve a puzzle without seeing the big picture.
Time-ConsumingThe initial setup of creating these columns can be time-consuming. It’s like laying the foundation for a house; it takes time but it’s necessary.
Limited SpaceThere’s only so much space on a sheet, and too many columns can make it look cluttered. It’s like packing too much into a suitcase – it just won’t close.

Additional Information

Creating smaller columns under the main Excel column is a bit like origami. You need to fold your data just right to make a beautiful, organized structure. It’s important not to rush through the steps; take your time to ensure everything lines up perfectly. Remember, the devil is in the details.

One tip is to use the ‘Format as Table’ feature on Excel. This gives you a sleek design with built-in filtering and sorting options. It’s like putting the finishing touches on your data mansion – a fresh coat of paint, if you will. Also, don’t forget to label your columns clearly. It’s no use having a well-organized sheet if no one can understand what they’re looking at. Lastly, make use of Excel’s color-coding feature. It’s like planting flowers in your data garden – it adds a pop of color and makes it easier for you to spot trends and patterns.


  1. Select the main column.
  2. Insert new columns to the right.
  3. Merge cells for the main column header.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create smaller columns under more than one main column?

Yes, you can! It’s like building multiple mansions in your data neighborhood. Just repeat the steps for each main column you want to organize.

Will merging cells affect my data?

Not at all. Merging cells is like putting a frame around a picture; it doesn’t change the picture itself, just how it’s presented.

Can I undo the creation of smaller columns?

Absolutely! It’s like deconstructing a Lego build – just unmerge cells and delete any columns you don’t need anymore.

Can I resize the smaller columns?

Sure! It’s like adjusting the size of the rooms in your data mansion. Just click and drag the column borders to your desired width.

Is this feature available on all versions of Excel?

While the exact steps might differ slightly, the basic concept of creating smaller columns under a main one is available in most versions of Excel. It’s a classic feature, like the steering wheel in a car.


Making smaller columns under the main Excel column is a game-changer for anyone who works with data. It’s like discovering a secret compartment in your desk that helps keep everything in order. Now that you know the steps, the benefits, and how to navigate potential drawbacks, you’re well-equipped to turn your spreadsheets into masterpieces of organization.

Remember, the key to success with this is patience and attention to detail. Don’t rush the process, and always keep the bigger picture in mind – how will this structure help you or others understand the data better? So go ahead, give it a try and watch as your Excel skills reach new heights. Happy organizing!

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