Copy Data Validations from one cell to another [quick tip]

Excel Howtos - 10 comments

If only there is paste special [17 paste special tricks] for everything in life, things would be much more smoother and fun. Alas, the paste special is limited only to excel.

Copy Data ValidationsHere is a handy trick you can use to quickly scale up data validations set up in one cell to say a range of cells.

Just copy the cell by pressing CTRL+C and then go to the target cell(s) and press ALT+ESN. And your data validations are pasted in the new cells. That is all. Quick and Easy.

Using this, it is very easy, for eg. to copy the data validation you have setup to accept only unique values in cells from one work sheet to another.

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10 Responses to “Copy Data Validations from one cell to another [quick tip]”

  1. Finnur says:

    My favourite paste special is paste special - Values. I use it all the time.

    So to speed things up I recorded a tiny macro where, before I start recording it, I copy a cell and select another cell.

    Then I hit record a macro (remember to assign a button - I use ctrl+z and override the undo command) and select paste special - values. Then stop the recording.

    So from then on, whenever I want to paste values I just hit ctrl+z. It saves me alot of time.

    This can be done with your favourite paste special exactly the same.

  2. CrazyKarl says:

    What is the 'ESN' key?

  3. Gerald Higgins says:

    CrazyKarl - just to elaborate on Chandoo's reply - why would it be E, S and N ? Sounds a bit complicated to remember, yeah ? Well it comes from the letters that are underlined in the menu options.
    Edit, paste Special, and validatioN, where E S and N are the underlined letters (sorry, I can't work out how to underline them in this post). Whenever you see single characters underlined in menu options (and sometimes when you can't 🙂 ) then you can use Alt and that letter as a short cut. This is not just Excel, it applies widely. Sometimes you don't even need the Alt bit.

  4. Chandoo says:

    @Finnur.. very good suggestion. I am more in tattoos than macros, so I have tattooed ALT+ESV on my wrist, lest I forget it 😛

    @Gerald... thanks for the explanation. Just to add, if you dont see the underlines, press ALT and you should be able to see them.

  5. I never noticed this feature on the paste special. Thanks for pointing it out...I always over-selected my data validation range. Now I can be more precise with out worry...its the little things, eh?
    Billy Gee

  6. Khalid NGO says:

    Thanks Chandoo,
    Very nice with Past Special.

    I use Ctrl+Alt+V for Past Special

  7. Randal Hauck says:

    I see now how to copy DATA VALIDATION using the special paste, including the hotkeys as described. But at least on my computer, Excel 2010, this method works for pasting a required list, but does not function for pasting a required range, between. Can you help?

  8. Martin Hadfield says:

    I would like to copy the data validation string =indirect(C3) to multiple cells. When I do this though the formula changes and you can't insert $ signs to stop it translating the formula to =indirect(C4) etc. Any ideas?



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