Paste or Ctrl+v is probably the most effective productivity tool available to us. But how well do you know “Paste”?, do you know that there are many variations to paste data to your excel sheets? Surprised? Well, read this post to become a master paster 🙂
After copying your data, You can activate Paste Special by
- Pressing right mouse button > Paste Special
- ALT + ES
The post is divided in to 2 parts,
- Basic Pasting Tricks
- Pasting while Manipulating Data
Basic Copy Pasting of Data thru Excel Paste Special
If you want to just paste the values from copied cells, just hit ATL+E followed by S and V. Very useful when you want to strip away existing formatting and work with plain data.
Paste Formats (or Format painter)
Like that sleek table format your colleague has made? But don’t have the time to redo it yourself, worry not, you can paste formatting (including any conditional formats) from any copied cells to new cells, just hit ALT+E S T.
If you want to copy a bunch of formulas to a new range of cells – this is very useful. Just copy the cells containing the formulas, hit ALT+E S F. You can achieve the same effect by dragging the formula cell to new range if the new range is adjacent.
Love copy those input validations you have created but not the cell contents or anything, just press ALT+E S N. This is very useful when you created a form and would like to replicate some of the cells to another area.
Adjust column widths of some cells based on other cells
You have created a table for tracking purchases and your boss liked it. So he wanted you to create another table to track sales and you want to maintain the column widths in the new table. You dont have to move back and forth looking for column widths or anything. Instead just paste column widths from your selection. Use ALT+E S W.
Grab comments only and paste them elsewhere
If you want to copy comments alone from certain cells to a new set of cells, just use ALT + E S C. This will reduce the amount of retyping you need to do.
Of course you want to paste everything
Just use CTRL+V or ALT+E+P or one of those little paste icons on the context menu.
Manipulating with copied data while pasting
Add while pasting
For example, if you have in Row 1 –
1 2 3as values and in Row 2 –
7 8 9as values and you would like to add row 1 values to row 2 values to get –
8 10 12, you can do this using paste special. Just copy row 1 values and use ALT + E S D.
Subtract while pasting
Just use ALT + E S S
Multiply while pasting
Just use ALT + E S M
Divide while pasting
Just use ALT + E S I
Convert rows to columns or columns to rows while pasting data
For example you have large list of values in column A and you want to move (or copy) these values to row 1 across. How would you do that? Of course you can rely on trusty paste-special to do that little job for you. Just use ALT + E S E. This will transpose copied values before pasting, thus converting rows to columns and columns to rows.
Paste reference to original cells
If you want to create references to a bulk of cells instead of copy-pasting all the values this is the option for you. Just use ALT+E S L to create an automatic reference to copied range of cells.
Paste text by converting it in to columns
This option is very useful when you are pasting data from outside. For example, if you want to paste few lines of this blog post in an excel sheet but would like to see each word in a separate cell, you can copy the content here (CTRL+C), go to your excel sheet and use CTRL+V to paste the data and then click on the paste icon that appears at the bottom of the pasted cell and select “use text import wizard” option. This will launch the mildly powerful text import wizard of excel using which you can convert copied text to columns by defining some simple parsing conditions. The default options split text into words (by using space as a delimiter). You can use this option to convert most types of text including comma separated values, fixed width values.
Paste a linked image
If you want an image of your data, but live image (ie it should change if your data changes), then use the Paste Special > Linked picture option.
What is your favorite paste trick?
There are many more paste tricks that are hidden in Excel, like pasting live xml data to your sheets, pasting images, objects, files etc. But I am more interested in knowing your favorite pasting hack. So tell me, what is your all time favorite paste?
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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