It is worth taking a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the different ways you can copy and paste data in Excel.
Until you know about all the different shortcuts and methods of copying and pasting in Excel, you will not be able to appreciate how much time and effort can be saved by introducing these into your daily working practises.
This page provides a brief overview of a Simple Excel Copy & Paste, as well as the Excel Paste Special command. We also provide a description of the Excel CopyPaste shortcuts CTRLD and CTRLR.
The most simple Excel copy and paste uses the following steps:
Copy the cell(s) by either:
Paste the copied cell(s) by either:
Note that there are a few Excel copy and paste rules that you should be aware of:
Normally when you perform an Excel copy and paste, all information from the copied cell(s) is pasted into the new cell(s). This includes any formulas or other cell contents, and the cell formatting.
However, sometimes you might want to only paste one part of the original copied cells, (e.g. just the cell values or just the cell formatting) into the new range. You can do this using the Excel 'Paste Special' command, which is found in the menu that appears when you right click the mouse.
The 'Paste Special' command can also be accessed from the 'Clipboard' group on the home tab of the Excel ribbon.
In recent versions of Excel (Excel 2010 or later), the right click menu and the 'Paste' menu contain 'Paste Special' shortcuts. Examples of these are shown below:
Examples of Paste Special Shortcuts:
A simple paste special example is shown in the two images below.
The first image shows the set of cells A1A15, which have coloured formatting and also contain data values. If you want to copy the values, but not the formatting of cells A1A15, into cells B1B15, you could do this as follows:
The image on the right below shows the result of the Paste Special. Note that the values from cells A1A15 have been copied into cells B1B15, but the formatting has not been copied across.
Original Spreadsheet with Paste Special Dialog Box

Paste Special Values Result

Of course, if you have one of the more recent version of Excel (Excel 2010 or later), you wouldn't need to open up the 'Paste Special' dialog box, as you can paste values only by using the Paste Special Values shortcut, .
You can see, from the above example, that the Values option is just one of several options linked to the Excel Paste Special feature.
As well as pasting selected attributes of the copied cells, the Paste Special command can be used to perform simple transformations. One example is the Transpose option which, in the example below, has been used to copy cells A1A6, and paste these into the cell range C1H1.
Before Paste Special Transpose

Paste Special Transpose Result

The Paste Special command can also be used to perform a simple arithmetic operation on the contents of the target cells. The values in the copied cells are added to, subtracted from, multiplied by or used to divide the target cells.
An example of this is shown below. Columns A and B of the example spreadsheet both contain numeric values and the Paste Special command is used to subtract the values in column A from the values in column B. This is done by copying column A, selecting column B, and then selecting 'Paste Special', with the Subtract option.
Before Paste Special Subtract

Paste Special Subtract Result

Note that, in the above example, instead of subtracting every cell of column A from column B, we could have subtracted a single cell of column A from every cell of column B. To do this, simply copy a single cell to start with, instead of a range of cells. Then, as in the example above, select column B and then select the Paste Special→Subtract option.
Another convenient way to copy the values from one (or more) cells into adjacent cells is to use the CtrlD or CtrlR shortcuts.
The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + D (i.e. press the Ctrl key and, while keeping this pressed down, press the D key), copies the contents of a cell or row into the cell(s) below.
There are two ways in which this shortcut works:
If you select one or more cells in a single row, the shortcut CtrlD copies the row above the selected row, into the selected row.
If you select cells in more than one row, the shortcut CtrlD copies the top row of the selected range into all the other rows in the selected range.
The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + R (i.e. press the Ctrl key and, while keeping this pressed down, press the R key), copies the contents of a cell or row into the cell(s) to the right.
Again, there are two ways in which this shortcut works:
If you select one or more cells in a single column, the shortcut CtrlR copies the cells to the left of the selected column, into the selected column.
If you select cells in more than one column, the shortcut CtrlR copies the left column of the selected range, into all the other columns in the selected range.
Finally, it is worth mentioning how to duplicate a worksheet in Excel. To do this:
Use the mouse to rightclick on the tab at the bottom of the worksheet and select the option Move or Copy ....
This will open up the 'Move or Copy' dialog box.