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Rows and Columns : Know About Their Definition , Differences and Applications in Details

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When some data is collected in bulk, it is supposed to be assembled in a concise format. But this has to be done logical manner. This is known as tabulation. This is done to ease out the process of calculation and understanding. Tabulation is done in an organized format. In this format, we find some horizontally running ROWS and vertically running COLUMNS.

Rows and Columns
Rows and Columns


Often students get confused rows and columns as they are being used in the matrix, spreadsheets, and in other classroom operations. Mostly they are used for differentiating categories, groups, types, etc. To avoid this confusion at first we should make our concept regarding rows and columns clear. So the first questions that arise first are WHAT ARE ROWS? WHAT ARE COLUMNS?

What is a Row?

The term ‘row” denotes an arrangement where people, objects, numbers, or other variables are placed after one after another in a straight line but in a particular sequence and direction i.e., left and right.

Some examples of Rows

  • Seating arrangement in a movie theatre.
  • Building rows of houses along the bank of a river.
Apples in a row
Apples in a row

When shall we use Row-oriented storage?

  • Row storage is good if we need to touch one row.
  • Row-oriented storage is helpful when most of the rows need to be read or written.
  • Pages are not filled thus leading to unused areas.
  • While recorded headers need to be read but do not contain row data.

What is a Column?

A column is a vertical series of cells containing facts, objects, numbers, or figures in a table or spreadsheet. Two consecutive columns are separated by a straight line to provide efficient readability. we can easily compare two or more sets of data by placing them side by side in two or more different columns.

Some examples of Columns

  • A façade with marble columns.
  • Pillars in front of a building.
Children standing in a column
Children standing in a column

When shall we use Column-oriented storage?

  • Allows us to make side-by-side comparisons.
  • Primarily works on the column.
  • it is beneficial if you want to store an ingle columned data.
  • Helps in array processing column value.

Rows and Columns in MS Excel

The best way to understand the concept is by observing an MS Excel spreadsheet. The rows are labeled by using natural numbers. The columns are labeled with the alphabet. In the case of columns, 26th column onwards the labeling becomes AA, AB, AC .. up to AZ after which it becomes BA, BB, BC .. which extends up to BZ. There are 1,048,576 rows and 16384 columns.

The intersection of a row and column forms a cell. this cell is the basic unit of a table.

Cell in MS Excel

To select an entire specific row, press Shift + Space Bar, and to select an entire specific column, press Ctrl+ Space Bar.

Selecting a row
Selecting a row
Selecting a column
Selecting a column

If you want to hide any row, select the entire row and then press right click and then hide but if you want to hide any column, at first select the entire column, and then press right click and then hide.

Hide a row
Hide a row
Hide a column
Hide a column

To freeze any row in a sheet, put the active cell below the row you want to freeze and press Alt+W+F+R but to freeze an entire column, but the entire column and press Alt+W+F+C.

the default row height in MS Excel is 18.75pt and 25 pixels and the width of the column is 8.43 pt. and 64 pixels.

How to find the total number of rows and columns of Excel using Python?

pd_xl_file = PD.Excel file(“sample1.xls”)

df= pd_xl_file.parse(“Sheet1”)


dimensions =df.shape.


How to find the number of rows in a CSV file without opening it?

For window users, if your CSV file is separated by a comma then go through the following steps to count.

  • open a command prompt.
  • go to the folder containing your file.
  • type find”,”/c your filename

But if your files are not separated by a comma rather by semicolon then apply the following command.

  • open a command prompt.
  • go to the folder containing your file.
  • type find”;”/c your filename

For Mac users, we-| your filename command is to be used.

What are the key differences between Rows and Columns?

Primarily it can be said that the row is a horizontal set of data on a spreadsheet or a table while the column is a vertical set of data on a spreadsheet or a table. Still, other differences exist between them.

  • Description of the row can be found in the farthest left part of the table known as Stub while the description of the column is found at the topmost part of the table.
  • The row goes from left to right while the column is arranged from top to bottom.
  • In Google sheet, MS Excel, or LibreOffice, the row heading I denoted by numbers while column headings are denoted by letters.
  • Rows are also known as records that contain fields in DBMS while columns are called fields that contain characters.
  • in a database, we can see details like name, age, sex is placed in rows while individuality is maintained by the column.


Rows and columns are the fundamental part of any table ranging from matrix to spreadsheets. It is an effective tool to store and tabulate data. Both of them segregate data based on their attributes.

In a database, a row contains different data fields while a column consists of an accumulator of a single attribute in the dataset of a single data attribute.

Frequently Asked Questions about Rows and Columns

  1. What are a row and a column?

ANS: The horizontal arrangement of projects is called a row while the vertical one is called the column.

2. How do you find a row and a column?

ANS: You need to check the arrangement to infer whether it is a row or column. Horizontal arrangements will denote that it is a row while a vertical one will be a column.

3. What is the difference between a row and a column?

ANS: Go through this article to know the differences between rows and columns.

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