A swapping utility enables directional commands from a graphic user interface and/or keyboard to be utilized to swap data items associated with lists, tables or other series of data items. Upon receipt of both a directional command, e.g. up, down, left, or right, and a swap command, the utility uses the current position of the cursor or a selected entity to identify a first data item to be swapped and the relative direction thereto to identify a second, adjacent data item to be swapped. If both identified data items are of the same data type, their respective contents are exchanged within the ordered list or table without the need to cut and paste the content. In alternative embodiments, multiple adjacent data items may be swapped, or, in an embodiment which utilizes multiple selection icons, single or multiple nonadjacent entities may be directly swapped.