Drop Function in Excel

While there isn’t a specific built-in function called “Drop” in Excel, there are several methods you can use to remove data from cells or ranges:

  1. Clearing Cells: You can select a range of cells and use the “Clear” function to delete the content, formatting, or both.
  2. Deleting Rows/Columns: If you want to remove entire rows or columns, you can select them and right-click to choose the “Delete” option.
  3. Filtered Views: Excel allows you to filter your data based on specific criteria, effectively hiding rows that don’t meet the criteria. This provides a way to temporarily “drop” certain data from view without permanently deleting it.
  4. Using Formulas or Functions: You can use logical conditions within formulas or functions to exclude or ignore specific data points in your calculations or analyses.

How DROP function works

In this context, let’s consider that the “DROP” function is a made-up function designed to remove rows or columns from a range or array in Excel programmatically.

Although such a function does not exist natively in Excel, we can discuss how it might work and its potential functionality.


=DROP(range, rows_to_drop, columns_to_drop)


  • range: The range or array from which rows or columns need to be dropped.
  • rows_to_drop: An optional parameter specifying the number of rows to drop from the range. If not provided, no rows will be dropped.
  • columns_to_drop: An optional parameter indicating the number of columns to drop from the range. If not specified, no columns will be dropped.

Functionality: The “DROP” function would take the input range and remove the specified number of rows and columns, resulting in a new range with the desired data subset.

It would work as follows:

  1. Evaluate the range parameter to identify the initial range/array to work with.
  2. Determine the number of rows and columns to drop based on the provided rows_to_drop and columns_to_drop parameters.
  3. Remove the specified number of rows from the top or bottom of the range, depending on the value of rows_to_drop.
  4. Eliminate the designated number of columns from the left or right side of the range, based on the value of columns_to_drop.
  5. Return the modified range as the output of the “DROP” function.

Example Usage: Let’s assume we have a range named “Data” (e.g., A1:E10) containing a table of values, and we want to drop the first two rows and one column from the left.

We could use the hypothetical “DROP” function as follows:


This would return a new range excluding the first two rows and the leftmost column of the original “Data” range.

remove rows or columns from range or array with DROP function

To remove rows from a range:

  1. Identify the range of data from which you want to remove rows.
  2. Apply a filter to the range by selecting the data and going to the “Data” tab, then clicking on the “Filter” button.
  3. Use the filter drop-down arrows in the header row of the column(s) containing the criteria you want to use for removal.
  4. Deselect the checkbox for the specific criteria values you wish to exclude. This will hide the corresponding rows, effectively removing them from view.

Note: This method does not permanently delete the rows but hides them based on the applied criteria. If you want to completely delete the rows, you can select them and right-click to choose the “Delete” option.

To remove columns from a range:

  1. Select the range of data from which you want to remove columns.
  2. Right-click on any selected column header and choose the “Delete” option. This will remove the entire column(s) from the range.

Alternatively, if you want to dynamically remove rows or columns based on specific conditions or calculations, you can use formulas or functions such as IF, INDEX, MATCH, or OFFSET.

These functions allow you to define conditions and criteria to selectively extract or omit data from a range or array.

Remember, while there isn’t a direct “DROP” function in Excel, you can achieve row or column removal using filtering, deleting, or applying logical conditions through formulas and functions.

how to perform a “Sort and Drop” operation in Excel

In Excel, sorting data refers to arranging it in a specific order based on the values in one or more columns. On the other hand, “dropping” typically means excluding or removing specific rows or columns from a dataset.

By combining these two actions, you can sort your data and remove certain rows or columns simultaneously.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to perform a “Sort and Drop” operation in Excel:

  1. Open your Excel workbook containing the data you want to work with.
  2. Select the entire range of data that you wish to sort and drop.
  3. Go to the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  4. Click on the “Sort” button to access the sorting options.
  5. In the Sort dialog box, specify the column(s) you want to sort by. You can select multiple columns for a hierarchical sort.
  6. Choose the desired sorting order (ascending or descending) for each selected column.
  7. Once you have configured the sorting criteria, click the “OK” button to apply the sort to your data.

Now, to drop specific rows or columns based on certain conditions:

  1. Identify the criteria or condition that defines which rows or columns you want to exclude from your dataset.
  2. Create a new column next to your data, if necessary, and use Excel formulas or functions to evaluate the conditions for each row or column. For example, you can use the IF function combined with logical operators to create a formula that returns TRUE or FALSE depending on the condition being met.
  3. Apply a filter to your data by selecting the entire range, going to the “Data” tab, and clicking on the “Filter” button.
  4. Use the filter drop-down arrow in the header of the newly created column to filter for the FALSE value (or any value that indicates the condition is not met).
  5. Once filtered, you can select the visible rows or columns and either delete them by right-clicking and selecting “Delete” or copy the visible data to a new location.

Combine ranges horizontally and drop rows or columns

Here’s how you can accomplish this:

  1. Identify the ranges: Determine the multiple ranges that you want to combine horizontally. For example, consider Range A (A1:A10) and Range B (B1:B10).
  2. Prepare a helper column: Insert a new column adjacent to each range. This column will act as a helper column to mark the rows that need to be dropped. Let’s call these helper columns “Drop Column A” and “Drop Column B”.
  3. Apply criteria to the helper columns: In each helper column, use logical conditions or formulas to specify which rows you want to drop from each respective range. For instance, if you want to exclude rows with values less than 5 from Range A, you could enter the formula “=A1<5” in cell C1 (assuming C1 is the first cell of “Drop Column A”) and copy it down to C10.
  4. Combine ranges horizontally: In a new range, starting from a cell of your choice, use the following formula to combine the desired ranges horizontally:
=IF(Drop_Column_A=FALSE, Range_A, IF(Drop_Column_B=FALSE, Range_B, ""))

Replace “Drop_Column_A”, “Range_A”, “Drop_Column_B”, “Range_B” with the actual cell references corresponding to the respective helper columns and ranges.

This formula checks the condition in Drop_Column_A; if it evaluates to FALSE, it includes the corresponding value from Range_A. If Drop_Column_A is TRUE, it moves on to check Drop_Column_B and includes the value from Range_B if Drop_Column_B evaluates to FALSE. Otherwise, it leaves the cell blank.

Adjust the formula and ranges: If you have more than two ranges to combine, extend the logical IF statements in step 4 to include additional helper columns and ranges as needed.

Clean up the output: Once you have combined the ranges horizontally, you may notice blank cells where rows were excluded. To remove these blank cells, you can copy the combined range and use the “Paste Special” feature with the “Values” option to paste only the values, overwriting the formulas.

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