Unit 8: Special Pasting

You may not always want to copy everything from the source range to the destination range. For example, you may want to copy only the formula results rather than the formulas themselves. Or you want to copy the number formats from one range to another without overwriting any existing data or formulas. To control what is copied into the destination range, choose → Clipboard → Paste and use the drop-down menu. When you hover your mouse pointer over an icon, you’ll see a
preview of the pasted information in the destination range. The paste options are:

  • Paste (P): Pastes the cell’s contents, formats, and data validation from the Windows Clipboard.

  • Formulas (F): Pastes formulas but not formatting.

  • Formulas & Number Formatting (O): Pastes formulas and number formatting only.

  • Keep Source Formatting (K): Pastes formulas and all formatting.

  • No Borders (B): Pastes everything except borders that appear in the source range.

  • Keep Source Column Width (W): Pastes formula & duplicates the column width of copied cells.

  • Transpose (T): Changes the orientation of the copied range.
    Rows become columns, & columns become rows. Any formulas in copied ranged are adjusted so they work properly when transposed.

  • Merge Conditional Formatting (G): This icon is displayed when the copied cells contain conditional formatting. When clicked, it merges the copied conditional formatting with any conditional formatting in the destination range.

  • Values (V): Pastes the results of formulas. The destination for the copy can be a new range or the original range. In the latter case, Excel replaces original formulas with their current values.

  • Values & Number Formatting (A): Pastes the results of formulas plus the number formatting.

  • Values & Source Formatting (E): Pastes the results of formulas plus all formatting.

  • Formatting ®: Pastes only the formatting of the source range.

  • Paste Link (N): Creates formulas in the destination range that refer the cells in the copied range.

  • Picture (U): Pastes the copied information as a picture.

  • Linked Picture (I): Pastes the copied information as a “live” picture that is updated if the source range is changed.

  • Paste Special: Displays the Paste Special Dialog Box.



After you paste, you’re offered another chance to change your mind. A paste options button appears at the lower right of the pasted range. Click it (or press CTRL), and you see the paste option icons again. Excel actually has several different Paste Special Dialog boxes, each with different options.

UNIT 8 – Special Pasting


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