How to change the order of DataFrame columns?

Posted on

Problem :

I have the following DataFrame (df):

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd

df = pd.DataFrame(np.random.rand(10, 5))

I add more column(s) by assignment:

df['mean'] = df.mean(1)

How can I move the column mean to the front, i.e. set it as first column leaving the order of the other columns untouched?

Solution :

You could also do something like this:

df = df[['mean', '0', '1', '2', '3']]

You can get the list of columns with:

cols = list(df.columns.values)

The output will produce:

['0', '1', '2', '3', 'mean']

…which is then easy to rearrange manually before dropping it into the first function

For pandas >= 1.3 (Edited in 2022):

df.insert(0, 'mean', df.pop('mean'))

How about (for Pandas < 1.3, the original answer)

df.insert(0, 'mean', df['mean'])

https://pandas.pydata.org/pandas-docs/stable/user_guide/dsintro.html#column-selection-addition-deletion

In your case,

df = df.reindex(columns=['mean',0,1,2,3,4])

will do exactly what you want.

In my case (general form):

df = df.reindex(columns=sorted(df.columns))
df = df.reindex(columns=(['opened'] + list([a for a in df.columns if a != 'opened']) ))

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
df = pd.DataFrame()
column_names = ['x','y','z','mean']
for col in column_names: 
    df[col] = np.random.randint(0,100, size=10000)

You can try out the following solutions :

Solution 1:

df = df[ ['mean'] + [ col for col in df.columns if col != 'mean' ] ]

Solution 2:


df = df[['mean', 'x', 'y', 'z']]

Solution 3:

col = df.pop("mean")
df = df.insert(0, col.name, col)

Solution 4:

df.set_index(df.columns[-1], inplace=True)
df.reset_index(inplace=True)

Solution 5:

cols = list(df)
cols = [cols[-1]] + cols[:-1]
df = df[cols]

solution 6:

order = [1,2,3,0] # setting column's order
df = df[[df.columns[i] for i in order]]

Time Comparison:

Solution 1:

CPU times: user 1.05 ms, sys: 35 µs, total: 1.08 ms Wall time: 995 µs

Solution 2:

CPU times: user 933 µs, sys: 0 ns, total: 933 µs
Wall time: 800 µs

Solution 3:

CPU times: user 0 ns, sys: 1.35 ms, total: 1.35 ms
Wall time: 1.08 ms

Solution 4:

CPU times: user 1.23 ms, sys: 45 µs, total: 1.27 ms
Wall time: 986 µs

Solution 5:

CPU times: user 1.09 ms, sys: 19 µs, total: 1.11 ms
Wall time: 949 µs

Solution 6:

CPU times: user 955 µs, sys: 34 µs, total: 989 µs
Wall time: 859 µs

You need to create a new list of your columns in the desired order, then use df = df[cols] to rearrange the columns in this new order.

cols = ['mean']  + [col for col in df if col != 'mean']
df = df[cols]

You can also use a more general approach. In this example, the last column (indicated by -1) is inserted as the first column.

cols = [df.columns[-1]] + [col for col in df if col != df.columns[-1]]
df = df[cols]

You can also use this approach for reordering columns in a desired order if they are present in the DataFrame.

inserted_cols = ['a', 'b', 'c']
cols = ([col for col in inserted_cols if col in df] 
        + [col for col in df if col not in inserted_cols])
df = df[cols]

Suppose you have df with columns A B C.

The most simple way is:

df = df.reindex(['B','C','A'], axis=1)

If your column names are too-long-to-type then you could specify the new order through a list of integers with the positions:

Data:

          0         1         2         3         4      mean
0  0.397312  0.361846  0.719802  0.575223  0.449205  0.500678
1  0.287256  0.522337  0.992154  0.584221  0.042739  0.485741
2  0.884812  0.464172  0.149296  0.167698  0.793634  0.491923
3  0.656891  0.500179  0.046006  0.862769  0.651065  0.543382
4  0.673702  0.223489  0.438760  0.468954  0.308509  0.422683
5  0.764020  0.093050  0.100932  0.572475  0.416471  0.389390
6  0.259181  0.248186  0.626101  0.556980  0.559413  0.449972
7  0.400591  0.075461  0.096072  0.308755  0.157078  0.207592
8  0.639745  0.368987  0.340573  0.997547  0.011892  0.471749
9  0.050582  0.714160  0.168839  0.899230  0.359690  0.438500

Generic example:

new_order = [3,2,1,4,5,0]
print(df[df.columns[new_order]])  

          3         2         1         4      mean         0
0  0.575223  0.719802  0.361846  0.449205  0.500678  0.397312
1  0.584221  0.992154  0.522337  0.042739  0.485741  0.287256
2  0.167698  0.149296  0.464172  0.793634  0.491923  0.884812
3  0.862769  0.046006  0.500179  0.651065  0.543382  0.656891
4  0.468954  0.438760  0.223489  0.308509  0.422683  0.673702
5  0.572475  0.100932  0.093050  0.416471  0.389390  0.764020
6  0.556980  0.626101  0.248186  0.559413  0.449972  0.259181
7  0.308755  0.096072  0.075461  0.157078  0.207592  0.400591
8  0.997547  0.340573  0.368987  0.011892  0.471749  0.639745
9  0.899230  0.168839  0.714160  0.359690  0.438500  0.050582

Although it might seem like I’m just explicitly typing the column names in a different order, the fact that there’s a column ‘mean’ should make it clear that new_order relates to actual positions and not column names.

For the specific case of OP’s question:

new_order = [-1,0,1,2,3,4]
df = df[df.columns[new_order]]
print(df)

       mean         0         1         2         3         4
0  0.500678  0.397312  0.361846  0.719802  0.575223  0.449205
1  0.485741  0.287256  0.522337  0.992154  0.584221  0.042739
2  0.491923  0.884812  0.464172  0.149296  0.167698  0.793634
3  0.543382  0.656891  0.500179  0.046006  0.862769  0.651065
4  0.422683  0.673702  0.223489  0.438760  0.468954  0.308509
5  0.389390  0.764020  0.093050  0.100932  0.572475  0.416471
6  0.449972  0.259181  0.248186  0.626101  0.556980  0.559413
7  0.207592  0.400591  0.075461  0.096072  0.308755  0.157078
8  0.471749  0.639745  0.368987  0.340573  0.997547  0.011892
9  0.438500  0.050582  0.714160  0.168839  0.899230  0.359690

The main problem with this approach is that calling the same code multiple times will create different results each time, so one needs to be careful 🙂

df = df.reindex(sorted(df.columns), axis=1)

I think this is a slightly neater solution:

df.insert(0, 'mean', df.pop("mean"))

This solution is somewhat similar to @JoeHeffer ‘s solution but this is one liner.

Here we remove the column "mean" from the dataframe and attach it to index 0 with the same column name.

You can reorder the dataframe columns using a list of names with:

df = df.filter(list_of_col_names)

I ran into a similar question myself, and just wanted to add what I settled on. I liked the reindex_axis() method for changing column order. This worked:

df = df.reindex_axis(['mean'] + list(df.columns[:-1]), axis=1)

An alternate method based on the comment from @Jorge:

df = df.reindex(columns=['mean'] + list(df.columns[:-1]))

Although reindex_axis seems to be slightly faster in micro benchmarks than reindex, I think I prefer the latter for its directness.

Simply do,

df = df[['mean'] + df.columns[:-1].tolist()]

This function avoids you having to list out every variable in your dataset just to order a few of them.

def order(frame,var):
    if type(var) is str:
        var = [var] #let the command take a string or list
    varlist =[w for w in frame.columns if w not in var]
    frame = frame[var+varlist]
    return frame 

It takes two arguments, the first is the dataset, the second are the columns in the data set that you want to bring to the front.

So in my case I have a data set called Frame with variables A1, A2, B1, B2, Total and Date. If I want to bring Total to the front then all I have to do is:

frame = order(frame,['Total'])

If I want to bring Total and Date to the front then I do:

frame = order(frame,['Total','Date'])

EDIT:

Another useful way to use this is, if you have an unfamiliar table and you’re looking with variables with a particular term in them, like VAR1, VAR2,… you may execute something like:

frame = order(frame,[v for v in frame.columns if "VAR" in v])

Here’s a way to move one existing column that will modify the existing dataframe in place.

my_column = df.pop('column name')
df.insert(3, my_column.name, my_column)  # Is in-place

You could do the following (borrowing parts from Aman’s answer):

cols = df.columns.tolist()
cols.insert(0, cols.pop(-1))

cols
>>>['mean', 0L, 1L, 2L, 3L, 4L]

df = df[cols]

Just type the column name you want to change, and set the index for the new location.

def change_column_order(df, col_name, index):
    cols = df.columns.tolist()
    cols.remove(col_name)
    cols.insert(index, col_name)
    return df[cols]

For your case, this would be like:

df = change_column_order(df, 'mean', 0)

Moving any column to any position:

import pandas as pd
df = pd.DataFrame({"A": [1,2,3], 
                   "B": [2,4,8], 
                   "C": [5,5,5]})

cols = df.columns.tolist()
column_to_move = "C"
new_position = 1

cols.insert(new_position, cols.pop(cols.index(column_to_move)))
df = df[cols]

I wanted to bring two columns in front from a dataframe where I do not know exactly the names of all columns, because they are generated from a pivot statement before.
So, if you are in the same situation: To bring columns in front that you know the name of and then let them follow by “all the other columns”, I came up with the following general solution:

df = df.reindex_axis(['Col1','Col2'] + list(df.columns.drop(['Col1','Col2'])), axis=1)

Here is a very simple answer to this(only one line).

You can do that after you added the ‘n’ column into your df as follows.

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd

df = pd.DataFrame(np.random.rand(10, 5))
df['mean'] = df.mean(1)
df
           0           1           2           3           4        mean
0   0.929616    0.316376    0.183919    0.204560    0.567725    0.440439
1   0.595545    0.964515    0.653177    0.748907    0.653570    0.723143
2   0.747715    0.961307    0.008388    0.106444    0.298704    0.424512
3   0.656411    0.809813    0.872176    0.964648    0.723685    0.805347
4   0.642475    0.717454    0.467599    0.325585    0.439645    0.518551
5   0.729689    0.994015    0.676874    0.790823    0.170914    0.672463
6   0.026849    0.800370    0.903723    0.024676    0.491747    0.449473
7   0.526255    0.596366    0.051958    0.895090    0.728266    0.559587
8   0.818350    0.500223    0.810189    0.095969    0.218950    0.488736
9   0.258719    0.468106    0.459373    0.709510    0.178053    0.414752


### here you can add below line and it should work 
# Don't forget the two (()) 'brackets' around columns names.Otherwise, it'll give you an error.

df = df[list(('mean',0, 1, 2,3,4))]
df

        mean           0           1           2           3           4
0   0.440439    0.929616    0.316376    0.183919    0.204560    0.567725
1   0.723143    0.595545    0.964515    0.653177    0.748907    0.653570
2   0.424512    0.747715    0.961307    0.008388    0.106444    0.298704
3   0.805347    0.656411    0.809813    0.872176    0.964648    0.723685
4   0.518551    0.642475    0.717454    0.467599    0.325585    0.439645
5   0.672463    0.729689    0.994015    0.676874    0.790823    0.170914
6   0.449473    0.026849    0.800370    0.903723    0.024676    0.491747
7   0.559587    0.526255    0.596366    0.051958    0.895090    0.728266
8   0.488736    0.818350    0.500223    0.810189    0.095969    0.218950
9   0.414752    0.258719    0.468106    0.459373    0.709510    0.178053

You can use a set which is an unordered collection of unique elements to do keep the “order of the other columns untouched”:

other_columns = list(set(df.columns).difference(["mean"])) #[0, 1, 2, 3, 4]

Then, you can use a lambda to move a specific column to the front by:

In [1]: import numpy as np                                                                               

In [2]: import pandas as pd                                                                              

In [3]: df = pd.DataFrame(np.random.rand(10, 5))                                                         

In [4]: df["mean"] = df.mean(1)                                                                          

In [5]: move_col_to_front = lambda df, col: df[[col]+list(set(df.columns).difference([col]))]            

In [6]: move_col_to_front(df, "mean")                                                                    
Out[6]: 
       mean         0         1         2         3         4
0  0.697253  0.600377  0.464852  0.938360  0.945293  0.537384
1  0.609213  0.703387  0.096176  0.971407  0.955666  0.319429
2  0.561261  0.791842  0.302573  0.662365  0.728368  0.321158
3  0.518720  0.710443  0.504060  0.663423  0.208756  0.506916
4  0.616316  0.665932  0.794385  0.163000  0.664265  0.793995
5  0.519757  0.585462  0.653995  0.338893  0.714782  0.305654
6  0.532584  0.434472  0.283501  0.633156  0.317520  0.994271
7  0.640571  0.732680  0.187151  0.937983  0.921097  0.423945
8  0.562447  0.790987  0.200080  0.317812  0.641340  0.862018
9  0.563092  0.811533  0.662709  0.396048  0.596528  0.348642

In [7]: move_col_to_front(df, 2)                                                                         
Out[7]: 
          2         0         1         3         4      mean
0  0.938360  0.600377  0.464852  0.945293  0.537384  0.697253
1  0.971407  0.703387  0.096176  0.955666  0.319429  0.609213
2  0.662365  0.791842  0.302573  0.728368  0.321158  0.561261
3  0.663423  0.710443  0.504060  0.208756  0.506916  0.518720
4  0.163000  0.665932  0.794385  0.664265  0.793995  0.616316
5  0.338893  0.585462  0.653995  0.714782  0.305654  0.519757
6  0.633156  0.434472  0.283501  0.317520  0.994271  0.532584
7  0.937983  0.732680  0.187151  0.921097  0.423945  0.640571
8  0.317812  0.790987  0.200080  0.641340  0.862018  0.562447
9  0.396048  0.811533  0.662709  0.596528  0.348642  0.563092

Just flipping helps often.

df[df.columns[::-1]]

Or just shuffle for a look.

import random
cols = list(df.columns)
random.shuffle(cols)
df[cols]

You can use reindex which can be used for both axis:

df
#           0         1         2         3         4      mean
# 0  0.943825  0.202490  0.071908  0.452985  0.678397  0.469921
# 1  0.745569  0.103029  0.268984  0.663710  0.037813  0.363821
# 2  0.693016  0.621525  0.031589  0.956703  0.118434  0.484254
# 3  0.284922  0.527293  0.791596  0.243768  0.629102  0.495336
# 4  0.354870  0.113014  0.326395  0.656415  0.172445  0.324628
# 5  0.815584  0.532382  0.195437  0.829670  0.019001  0.478415
# 6  0.944587  0.068690  0.811771  0.006846  0.698785  0.506136
# 7  0.595077  0.437571  0.023520  0.772187  0.862554  0.538182
# 8  0.700771  0.413958  0.097996  0.355228  0.656919  0.444974
# 9  0.263138  0.906283  0.121386  0.624336  0.859904  0.555009

df.reindex(['mean', *range(5)], axis=1)

#        mean         0         1         2         3         4
# 0  0.469921  0.943825  0.202490  0.071908  0.452985  0.678397
# 1  0.363821  0.745569  0.103029  0.268984  0.663710  0.037813
# 2  0.484254  0.693016  0.621525  0.031589  0.956703  0.118434
# 3  0.495336  0.284922  0.527293  0.791596  0.243768  0.629102
# 4  0.324628  0.354870  0.113014  0.326395  0.656415  0.172445
# 5  0.478415  0.815584  0.532382  0.195437  0.829670  0.019001
# 6  0.506136  0.944587  0.068690  0.811771  0.006846  0.698785
# 7  0.538182  0.595077  0.437571  0.023520  0.772187  0.862554
# 8  0.444974  0.700771  0.413958  0.097996  0.355228  0.656919
# 9  0.555009  0.263138  0.906283  0.121386  0.624336  0.859904

Hackiest method in the book

df.insert(0, "test", df["mean"])
df = df.drop(columns=["mean"]).rename(columns={"test": "mean"})

A pretty straightforward solution that worked for me is to use .reindex on df.columns:

df = df[df.columns.reindex(['mean', 0, 1, 2, 3, 4])[0]]

Here is a function to do this for any number of columns.

def mean_first(df):
    ncols = df.shape[1]        # Get the number of columns
    index = list(range(ncols)) # Create an index to reorder the columns
    index.insert(0,ncols)      # This puts the last column at the front
    return(df.assign(mean=df.mean(1)).iloc[:,index]) # new df with last column (mean) first

A simple approach is using set(), in particular when you have a long list of columns and do not want to handle them manually:

cols = list(set(df.columns.tolist()) - set(['mean']))
cols.insert(0, 'mean')
df = df[cols]

How about using T?

df = df.T.reindex(['mean', 0, 1, 2, 3, 4]).T

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.