Is there a way to do this without using the menu?

I have seen references to ctrl + space and ctrl + +, but this no longer works (zooms in and out in Google Chrome)

14 Answers 14


While it's not directly possible in the current version with its own keystroke, there is another very simple way to accomplish this.

First, be located in the row on which you want to insert a row above or below.

Then do the following (keys are on Mac, so translate as necessary for your OS):

  1. Ctrl + Option + I - invokes the Insert menu
  2. Then hit the R key for Row Above, or the B key for Row Below

I guess this way may actually be one less keystroke than how it was done before, so that's a win right there!

Alternatively, you can also just use your cursor keys (to me this is easier, even if it's more keystrokes):

  • (down arrow once) for Row Above
  • (down arrow twice) for Row Below
  • Hit (Enter).

Hope this helps!

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  • What is mean by Option in step 1? – Shailendra Madda Nov 5 '14 at 11:23
  • 1
    They also added a "keyboard shortcuts" link in the help menu which has the new context menu shortcut +Option+Shift+= (three modifiers and the equals key) which gives you r for row, c for column, d for insert and shift down, i for insert and shift right. Also works when you have the menu bar hidden (ctrl-opt-i doesn't work in that case) – Dan Heberden Apr 13 '18 at 18:47
  • Even a bit quicker is to position your mouse where the relevant Row above or Row below menu option appears. When the Insert menu is opened the option is automatically selected by the mouse, so you can hit directly the Enter key. Tested on Windows 10 + Chrome. – mandarin Apr 2 at 17:43

Chrome (Windows, Linux):

ALT+I, then R

IE & Firefox (Windows, Linux):




This will add a row above.

Instead of R you can use...

  • W to add row below
  • C to add column to the left
  • G to add column to the right
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  • Have they removed the shortcut? It doesn't work for me – tomrozb Jan 19 '19 at 20:45

Discovered an easy shortcut for Mac. First, select the whole row. CMD-OPTION+ to insert a row above. CMD-OPTION- to delete the selected row.

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  • 2
    Pretty sure this should be the accepted answer. So fast and simple! – dmon Apr 13 '18 at 15:39

For Windows laptop users, the shortcut is to highlight the whole row by pressing Shift+Space (or highlight the whole column by Ctrl+Tab) and press the context-menu key (which is usually located next to the Ctrl key) on your keyboard and then press "Insert 1 Below" / "Insert 1 Above" (or "Insert 1 Left" / "Insert 1 Right" for inserting a column).

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  • Actually for row below it's Alt + I + b for Chrome on windows – Uriahs Victor Nov 23 '17 at 21:18

Another option would be to use Alt+/ to open the "Search the menus" search box and type "bel" or "ab" (to highlight the proper option) and hit Enter.

The "Search the menus" method has the advantage of being universal - it's easy to use it for many other things without memorizing the specific shortcuts. Plus it works also on Google Docs for text documents.

Disclaimer: Tested in Chrome on Windows only.

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I think different to all or most suggestions so far. Google Sheets Keyboard Shortcuts (accessible from Help > Keyboard shortcuts, or with Ctrl+/), shows me (Windows):

WA44607 first example

As a Firefox user for me the shorter versions (without Alt) are greyed out since reserved for zooming the screen.

I can confirm that selecting a row and then Ctrl+Alt+Shift+= does insert a blank row at the selected location and shift what was in that row, and all further below, down.

For Macintosh users the Keyboard short cut (at the same link) shows as:

WA44607 second example

And for Chrome

WA44607 third example

Depending on OS, Alt+Shift+i (Windows), Ctrl+Option+i (Mac) or Alt+i (Chrome) will open the Insert Menu of more than a dozen options, of which the first is Row above, which may be selected and actioned with just R.

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  • Correct, this shortcut didn't exist when the question was asked. You can optionally omit Alt now (Ctrl + =), although that doesn't seem to be documented in the reference yet. – Eric Eskildsen May 13 '18 at 12:16
  • Confirming Ctrl + Alt + = still works for me in Chrome 80 on Windows but it only provides the option to insert a row above (+ r). This makes Alt + i (+ r or b) a slightly better option for me. Another quick note: The shorter version (Ctrl + =) only works if I "Enable compatible spreadsheet shortcuts" in the Keyboard shortcuts modal (Ctrl + /). – othermachines Mar 8 at 16:08

Another solution is to use the Automator utility. I thought it would be easy to just have a keyboard shortcut to fire the Google Sheets menu item "insert new rows". Here's how you do it:

Setting up the Automator service

  1. Open Automater (/Applications/Automator)
  2. Make a new document
  3. Choose "Service"
  4. Drag in a "Run Applescript"
  5. Paste in the following code:
on run {input, parameters}

  tell application "Google Chrome" to activate
  tell application "System Events"
    repeat 5 times
      keystroke "i" using {control down, option down}
      keystroke "R"
      key code 36
    end repeat
  end tell

  return input
end run
  1. Save the service as "insert google sheets rows"

image showing Automator service

Setting up the keyboard shortcut

  1. Open System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Services
  2. Scroll to the bottom under "General"
    • On your service name: "insert google sheets rows"
    • Click "Add shortcut"
    • I used control+option+command+n

image showing keyboard shortcut setting

Now, when you hit your shortcut, your insert rows script will run.


  • You can choose the number of rows it inserts by changing the 5 in repeat 5 times to another number.
  • You change the script to insert rows below instead of above by changing keystroke "R" to keystroke "B".
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According to this documentation found in the Insert or delete rows or columns section:

Insert row above

  • in Google Chrome: Alt + I, then R
  • other browsers: Alt + Shift + I, then R

Insert row below

  • in Google Chrome: Alt + I, then W
  • other browsers: Alt + Shift + I, then W
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I haven't found any good keyboard shortcuts. The quickest way I can see to insert multiple rows/columns is to manually insert a row/column a couple times, then highlight all new blank rows, hit Ctrl+C, then right click again. Now you have the option to insert multiple new rows.

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  • CTRL+C isn't necessary. – Rubén Sep 14 '16 at 15:07

On PC, you can add a row above using a single keystroke (eg. F7) using autohotkey (it simply send the keystroke ctrl+i then r):

;--- active the code on all google sheet opened  
SetTitleMatchMode, Regex
#If WinActive("Google Sheets  ahk_class Chrome_WidgetWin_1")

;---It use F7, but you could use the shortcuts of your choice.
;--- You could use if needed: Alt(!) CTRL(^) shift(+) win(#)    
send +!i
sleep 100
send r

#IfWinActive ; reset winactive
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There are usually a bunch of empty rows at the bottom of the sheet. Select however many you need and drag them where you need.

Dragging rows in Google Sheets

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On Windows:

Press Alt+b+b This inserts a row below.

Press Alt+b+a This inserts a row above.

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  • -1; Hi Helper, I tried it but without success. Btw, how can I type the first key combination? – Jacob Jan Tuinstra May 20 '14 at 9:35
  • This worked for me, Alt + b, b or Alt + b, a – mbdavis Nov 16 '14 at 19:13

Just do this (I used the lower case letter i because you couldn't tell if it was an L or not).


More precisely, select a row:

Hold Alt then press i (it brings up the insert menu) then let go and press the letter B.

It will insert a row below the selected row. You will have to hold alt, press i, then let go and press B again for every new row but it works quickly.

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Try this: Ctrl+I then R.

This will insert a new row below.

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