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Excel Paste Special makes the pasting operation smoother by letting you choose which formatting (source or destination) to keep or by stripping all formatting and just pasting the values or formulas.
What is Paste Special in Excel?
In situations where a standard copy / paste in not appropriate, Excel’s Paste Special offers a wide range of options to paste only specific elements of the copied cells or perform a mathematical operation with the copied data.
For example, you can copy formula-driven data and paste only the calculated values in the same or different cells. Or, you can copy the width of one column and apply it to all other columns in your data set. Or, you can transpose the copied range, i.e. convert rows to columns and vice versa. The following screenshot demonstrates all available Paste Special options:
All of the Paste Special commands work within the same worksheet as well as across different sheets and workbooks.
How to paste special in Excel
The use of Paste Special in Excel boils down to the following:
Copy the source cell or a range of cells (the fastest way is to select the cell(s) and press the
Ctrl + C
Select the destination cell(s).
Open the Paste Special dialog using one of the methods described below (the fastest way is to hit the Paste Special shortcut).
Yep, it’s that simple!
3 ways to access Paste Special in Excel
1. Paste Special button on the ribbon
As you may have noticed, 6 most popular paste options appear directly in the pop-up menu, under Paste Options: paste everything (equivalent of CTRL + V), paste values, paste formulas, transpose, paste formatting, and paste link:
If you start hovering over the Paste Special… item in the context menu, a fly-out menu will show up offering 14 more paste options:
To find out what a particular icon does, hover over it. A hit will pop up and Live Preview will take over enabling you to see the paste effect straight away. This method is especially useful when you have just started learning the feature.
For example, if you hover over the paste transpose icon, you will see a preview of how exactly the copied data will be transposed:
The fastest way to paste a specific aspect of the copied data in Excel is using one of the following shortcuts.
Paste Special shortcut for Excel 2016 – 2007:
Paste Special shortcut for all Excel versions:
Both of the above shortcuts open Excel’s Paste Special dialog, where you can select the desired option with the mouse or hit a corresponding shortcut key. In the following section, you will find a full list of available paste options and their shortcut keys.
Excel Paste Special shortcut keys
As you already know, Excel’s Paste Special dialog can be opened via the Ctrl+Alt+V shortcut combination. After that, you can pick a specific paste option by pressing just one letter key on your keyboard.
Please pay attention that a shortcut key for paste special works only when the Paste Special dialog is already open, and some data has previously been copied to the clipboard.
Shortcut Operation Description
A All Paste the cell contents and formatting.
F Formula Paste only formulas.
V Values Paste only values and not formulas.
T Formats Copy only the cell formats and not values.
N Data Validation Paste only the data validation settings.
H All using source theme Paste all cell contents in the theme formatting applied to the source cell.
X All except borders Paste all cell contents and formatting, but not borders.
W Column width Paste only the column width from the copied cells.
R Formulas and number formats Paste formulas and number formats such as currency symbols, date formats, etc.
U Values and number formats Paste values (but not formulas) and number formats.
D Add Add the copied data to the data in the destination cell(s).
S Subtract Subtract the copied data from the data in the destination cell(s).
M Multiply Multiply the copied data by the data in the destination cell(s).
I Divide Divide the copied data by the data in the destination cell(s).
B Skip blanks Prevent replacing the values in the destination range with blank cells that occur in the copied range.
E Transpose Convert the columns of copied data to rows, and vice versa.
L Link Link the pasted data to the copied data by inserting formulas like =A1.
At first sight, this seems like a lot of keystrokes to remember, but with just a little practice you will be able to paste special in Excel faster than an average user can reach for the mouse. To begin with, you can learn the paste special values shortcut (Ctrl+Alt+V, then V) that you would probably use several times a day.
If you happen to forget a shortcut key, just have a look at the required option in the Paste Special dialog and notice an underlined letter. As you can remember, the paste values shortcut key is V and this letter is underlined in “Values”.
Examples of using Paste Special in Excel
To move from theory to practice, let’s see some of the most popular paste special features in action. Simple and straightforward, these examples may still teach you a couple of unobvious uses.
Select the destination cell, or the upper-left cell of the target range.
How to copy values in Excel
Supposing you’ve created a summary report from a number of sources, and now you need to send it to your client or supervisor. The report contains a bunch of formulas that pull information from other sheets, and even more formulas that calculate the source data. The question is – how do you send the report with final numbers without cluttering it with tons of initial data? By replacing the formulas with calculated values!
The steps to only paste values in Excel follow below:
Select the cell(s) with formulas and press
Ctrl + C
to copy them.
Select the destination range. If you don’t need to keep the formulas, you can select the same range that you’ve just copied (cells with formulas).
Press Excel’s paste values shortcut:
Ctrl + Alt + V
Done! The formulas are replaced with calculated values.
Tip. If you are copying values to another range and want to keep the original number formats such as the currency symbols or the number of decimal places, press
, and then
to paste values and number formats.
How to quickly transpose in Excel
There are a few ways to change columns to rows in Excel, and the fastest one is using the Paste Transpose option. Here’s how:
Select the table that you want to transpose, and press
Ctrl + C
to copy it.
Select the upper-left cell of the range where you want to paste the transposed data.
Press the paste special transpose shortcut:
Ctrl + Alt + V
The result will look something similar to this:
As you can see in the screenshot above, in the converted table, the original cell and number formats are nicely kept in place, a small but helpful touch!
To learn other ways to transpose in Excel, please check out this tutorial: How to convert row to column and column to row in Excel.
How to copy column width in Excel
This example will teach you how to quickly set the desired width to all columns of your Excel table.
Set the width for one column the way you want it.
Select the column with the adjusted width (or select any single cell within that column) and press
Ctrl + C
Select the column(s) to which you want to copy the width. To select non-adjacent columns, hold down CTRL while selecting.
Press the Paste Special shortcut
Ctrl + Alt + V
, and then
That’s it! Only the column’s width is copied to other columns, but not any data contained in the source column.
How to copy a column’s width as well as contents
Quite often, when copying data from one column to another you have to adjust the destination column’s width manually to accommodate the new values. In this case, you may like the following way to copy the source data AND column width in one fell swoop.
Select the data to be copied and press
Ctrl + C
How to paste and add/subtract/multiply/divide at a time
Performing arithmetic operations in Excel is easy. Usually, a simple equation like =A1*B1 is all what it takes. But if the resulting data is supposed to be numbers rather than formulas, Excel Paste Special can save you a trouble of replacing formulas with their values.
Example 1. Replacing percentages with calculated amounts
Supposing, you have the amounts in column B and tax percentages in column C. Your task is to replace the tax % with the actual tax amount. The quickest way to have it done is this:
Select the amounts (cells B2:B4 in this example), and press
Ctrl + C
to copy them.
Select the tax percentages, cells C2:C4 in this example.
Press the paste special shortcut (
Ctrl + Alt + V
), and then either select Multiply under Operations, or press
. This will multiply each of the amounts copied from column B by a percentage in column C in the same row.
That’s it! As shown in the screenshot below, a tax amount is calculated for each row, and the result of the operation is a value, not formula:
By using the same approach, you can quickly increase or reduce an entire column of numbers by a certain percentage. In this case, you input the percentage formula such as =1+20% in a separate cell, copy it, and then use Excel Paste Special to multiply the source numbers by the value in the copied cell. The detailed steps can be found here: How to increase / reduce a column by percentage.
Example 2. Removing multiple hyperlinks in Excel
Type 1 in any empty cell, and press
Ctrl + C
to copy it.
Select all of the hyperlinks that you want to remove.
That’s all that it takes! All hyperlinks are removed along with the blue underlined formatting:
Tip. If you want to keep the original links and copy the results (i.e. data without hyperlinks) to some other location, then do as follows: copy the hyperlinks, select the upper-left cell of the target range, and hit the Excel paste values shortcut:
For more information about this and other ways to get rid of hyperlinks in Excel, please see How remove multiple hyperlinks at a time.
Paste Special not working in Excel
If the Paste Special option is missing or not working properly in your Excel, it’s likely to be because of one of the following reasons.
Paste Special feature is disabled
Solution: Enable Paste Special as demonstrated below.
Third-party add-ins conflicting with Paste Special
If you have a lot of third-party add-ins installed in your Excel, chances are that one of them is causing the issue. To pin down the culprit, perform these steps:
If one or more problematic add-ins have been detected, leave them disabled or uninstall them.
This is how you use Paste Special in Excel. Now you know how many powerful features it provides and how you can leverage these features in your worksheets. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
You may also be interested in
5 Keyboard Shortcuts To Paste Values In Excel
Bottom line: Learn 5 different ways to copy and paste values to remove all formulas and formatting.
Skill level: Beginner
What is Paste Values?
Copying and pasting values is probably one of the most common tasks we do in Excel.
Paste Values will paste the values ONLY of the copied range WITHOUT formulas and formatting. This allows us to extract the numbers or text from cells.
There are a TON of reasons to paste values.
One common use is for scenario analysis where we want to “freeze” numbers that are results of formulas and place them in some blank cells.
Another common use is when we want to paste numbers or text into a range that already contains formatting. Pasting values will not change any existing formatting that is applied to the cell/range.
In the image above, the Scenario 1 column already contained both cell formatting (colors) and number formatting. When we paste values, any existing formatting in the paste range will NOT change.
In the first example above, the blank cells have the default General format, and that is why there is no number formatting applied when we paste values.
The Paste Special Menu
Paste Values is one of the many pasting options on the Paste Special menu.
The Paste Special… button on those menus opens the full Paste Special Menu.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Paste Values
There are keyboard shortcuts for all of the Paste Special commands. As I mentioned before, the most common we use is Paste Values.
In the video above I share 5 keyboard shortcuts (plus a bonus) to paste values. Here is a list of the shortcuts.
Alt, E, S, V, Enter (Mac: Ctrl+Cmd+V)
Alt, H, V, V
Menu Key + V
Custom Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) Button: Alt+1
Ctrl+V, Ctrl, V
Custom shortcut with The Paste Buddy Add-in.
In the video I also mention my article on the best keyboards for Excel keyboard shortcuts.
If you’re more of a mouse user then checkout my article on my favorite mouse for Excel.
How do you Paste Values?
Thank you! 🙂
How To Increment A Value By Row Or Column In Excel
Expression: This is the value, reference of expression with which you want to increment. It can be a hardcoded value or any expression that returns a valid output. It should be an absolute expression (in most cases).
Number of rows above the first formula: If you are writing this first formula in B3 then the number of rows above this formula will be 2.
[steps]: This is optional. This is the number of steps you want to jump in the next increment.
The Arithmetic operator between expression and formula can be replaced with other operators to suit the requirements of increment.
So that we are familiar with the generic formula, let’s see some examples.
Example 1: Create an Auto Increment Formula for ID Creation.
Using the general formula we write the below formula in Cell B4 and copy it down.
We have replaced the + operator with ampersand operator (&) since we wanted to concatenate. And since we are writing the first formula in Cell B4, we subtract 3 from ROW (). The result is here.
Example 2: Increment the ID every 2 steps
If you want to increment the ID every 2 steps then you will need to write this formula.
The result is:
C1 contains 100.
Next we subtract 3 from it (since there are 3 rows above the 4th row). It gives us 1. This is important. It should be a hard coded value so that it does not change as we copy the formula below.
Finally the value 1 is multiplied (or any other operation) by the starting expression. As we copy the formula below. ROW() returns 5 but subtracting value stays the same (3) and we get 2. And it continues to be the cell you want.
To add steps, we use simple multiplication.
Increment Values By Column
In the above examples we increment by rows. It will not work if you copy them in the next column of the same row.
In the above formula we used the ROW function. Similarly, we can use the COLUMN function.
Generic Formula to Increment by Columns
Number of columns on the left of the first formula: If you are writing this first formula in B3 then the number of columns on the left of this formula will be 1.
I am not giving any examples as it will be the same as the above examples.
Alternative with SEQUENCE Function
It is a new function only available for EXCEL 365 and 2019 users. It returns an array of sequential numbers. We can use it to increment values sequentially, by rows, columns or both. And yes, you can also include the steps. Using this function you will not need to copy down the formula, as Excel 365 has auto spill functionality.
So, if you want to do the same thing as you did in Example no 3. The SEQUENCE function alternative will be:
Cách Sử Dụng Phím Tắt Khi Paste Value Trong Excel
Tổng hợp các phím tắt khi Paste Value trong Excel
Tổ hợp phím tắt để mở hộp thoại Paste Special (dán đặc biệt) là Ctrl + Alt + V hoặc Alt + E + S.
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán: CTRL + V;
Tổ hợp phím tắt chỉ để dán giá trị: ALT + H + V + V;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán giá trị và định dạng số: ALT + H + V + A;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán các giá trị và giữ định dạng nguồn: ALT + H + V + E;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán chỉ định dạng nguồn: ALT + H + V + K;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán không có đường viền: ALT + H + V + B;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán giữ chiều rộng cột nguồn: ALT + H + V + W;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán chỉ định dạng: ALT + H + V + R;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán chuyển vị: ALT + H + V + T;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán công thức: ALT + H + V + F;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán công thức và định dạng số: ALT + H + V + O;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán như hình ảnh: ALT + H + V + U;
Tổ hợp phím tắt để dán dưới dạng ảnh được liên kết: ALT + H + V + I;
Một số tổ hợp phím không hoạt động trên Excel 2007.
Để sử dụng các tổ hợp phím tắt khi dán giá trị thì các bạn cần có dữ liệu đã sao chép.
Cách sử dụng phím tắt khi Paste Value trong Excel
Các bạn thực hiện như sau:
Bước 1: Chọn ô A1 và chọn tổ hợp Ctrl + C.
Như vậy các bạn đã sao chép định dạng từ ô A1 sang ô D5 nhanh chóng.
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