Use Paste Special to multiply (or add, divide etc.) a range with a variable [quick tip]
Here is a fun way to use Paste Special to quickly multiply everything in a range with 1.1 (why 1.1? Well, imagine you have a report with everything in US $s and your boss wants to see the numbers in Australian $s…)
But your report looks like this:
And the total column has different formulas for each row. So you can’t multiply first cell with a rate variable and drag it down. You have to manually edit each formula and add *rate
at the end of it.
Oh wait…, you can use Paste Special.
Simple, use below steps:
 Write the exchange rate in a cell. Name it as rate (or whatever you fancy).
 In a blank cell write =rate
 Copy this blank cell.
 Select the range of numbers which you want to multiply with rate
 TIP: if the numbers are not together, hold CTRL and multiselect the ranges.
 Press CTRL + ALT + V to launch paste special dialog
 Select Multiply as operation type
 Select Formulas as paste type
 Click ok
 Your multiplication is done!
 When the rate changes, simply change the original rate cell
Here is a quick demo of this process. Watch it to learn more.
Do you use Paste Special operations?
I use the operations feature of paste special from time to time. But I never thought it would actually write formulas when multiplying with a cell having formula. This is really cool and could save time in some very tricky situations.
What about you? Do you use Paste Special operations feature? When do you use it? Please share your tips & experiences in the comments area.
More tips on Paste Special
If you think pasting is all about CTRL+V, you are obviously missing out on many time saving features of Excel.
Check out below articles for many cools ways to save time when copy pasting things in Excel.
 Transpose a table of values quickly using Copy & Paste
 Add data to charts with copy paste
 Use copy paste to preserve structural references
 Clear data validation rules with paste special
 Use paste special to speed up chart formatting
 More ways to Excel paste special – 16 tips for you
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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.
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7 Responses to “Use Paste Special to multiply (or add, divide etc.) a range with a variable [quick tip]”
This is absolutely one of my favorite tricks re copy and paste. 🙂
We may skip step 1 (although it's good for understanding the formula easily) if we use absolute reference: e.g. if Rate is in F2, then in a blank cell, input $F$2 and follow the rest of the steps... (also we may skip step 8 if destination has the same format of the originating cell, i.e. F2)
I have two other favorites:
1) Paste as Linked Picture:
http://wmfexcel.com/2013/11/22/pastespeciallinkedpictureakacamerainearlierversionsofexcel/
2) Paste using source's Column Width:
http://wmfexcel.com/2014/08/30/copyandpastetablewhilekeepingcolumnwidths/
I use it to convert numbers stored as text (usually from importing from an external source) to actual numbers.
Done by Paste Special using either Add with a value of 0 or Multiply with a value of 1.
I love this trick!
But ... if the boss wants to see the USD reports translated to EUR, I think you should divide 🙂
Still, very handy trick none the less!
@MrsSpreadsheet
Hello Chandoo,
It seems to me that it is necessary to add the Euro currency sign in column Total after the multiplication. Otherwise the results will be confusing (values in Dollars and other in Euros in the same table).
Also at the current rate change, the multiplication should be done by 0.9 instead of 1.1 (but this is less important as the change rate will regularly change).
Thanks for your awesome work and have a nice day!
Baudouin
Hi chandoo I use paste special to transpose data created a shortcut for the same. Nice to see your tips. Good quality work there
This is amazing, its saves a lot of time compared to old methods. Please keep on sharing your valuable tips, excellent quality work. Thank you.
Chandoo, you are really great.
One question though: why create the 2nd cell with 1.1?
Working with the 1st cell wouldn't have sufficed?