How to Delete and Remove Blank Spaces in Google Sheets Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are an essential tool for organizing and analyzing data. However, they can easily become cluttered with blank rows, columns, and cells. Too many blank spaces make your spreadsheet messy and difficult to navigate. Thankfully, Google Sheets provides several simple ways to delete and remove blank spaces to clean up your spreadsheets.

Why Remove Blank Spaces

Here are some key reasons you may want to remove blank spaces in Google Sheets:

  • Improve readability – Removing blank rows and columns allows you to fit more data on each sheet and makes it easier to visualize and understand the information. There is less scrolling and blank space to parse through.
  • Save printing costs – Deleting unnecessary rows and columns reduces the number of pages you need to print out. Less blank space means less paper used.
  • Simplify formulas – Formulas like VLOOKUP can get messed up by blank rows and columns. Removing them helps ensure your formulas work correctly.
  • Reduce file size – Deleting blank spaces means there is less data for Google Sheets to store. This keeps your file sizes small and prevents slow load times.

Ways to Remove Blank Spaces

Google Sheets provides a few simple options to remove blank rows, columns, and cells from your spreadsheets. Here are the top methods:

1. Delete Entire Blank Rows or Columns

To delete entire blank columns or rows at once:

  1. Select the rows or columns by clicking on the number header.
  2. Right click and choose Delete row/column.

This will remove the entire row or column, shifting any data below or to the right up.

2. Trim Excess Spaces in Cells

If you have text cells that contain extra spaces, use the Trim whitespace option:

  1. Highlight the cells to trim.
  2. Go to Data > Data cleanup > Trim whitespace.

This will delete any leading, trailing, or excess spaces within the cells, cleaning up the text.

3. Filter to View and Delete Blanks

To find and remove blank cells scattered throughout your sheet:

  1. Select the data range.
  2. Click Filter icon.
  3. In the drop-down for a column, uncheck Blank.
  4. Delete visible blank rows.

Filtering is also great for finding and removing blank rows between groups of data.

4. Use the CLEAR Function

For individual cells, use the =CLEAR() function to remove the data and formatting while keeping the cell blank. This helps if you want to keep cell references intact.

Tips for Managing Blank Spaces

Here are some handy ways to prevent excessive blank spaces in Google Sheets:

  • Freeze rows/columns as needed to keep headers visible when scrolling. This avoids adding blank rows above long data sets.
  • Use data validation to prevent accidental empty cells in important columns.
  • Consolidate data on one tab rather than spreading across many tabs with blank rows/columns.
  • Add borders and background colors to visually distinguish data blocks instead of relying on blank rows.

Taking a couple minutes to remove blank spaces makes your spreadsheets less cluttered and easier to work with. Following these steps will help you keep Google Sheets running smoothly.

About the Author

As a financial analyst with over 7 years of experience, I rely on spreadsheets daily to compile data and identify key insights. I am passionate about data organization best practices that save time and improve analysis. When I’m not crunching numbers, I enjoy hiking, baking, and reading historical fiction novels.