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How to Copy and Paste Multiple Cells in Excel & Google Sheets

This tutorial will demonstrate how to copy and paste multiple cells in Excel and Google Sheets.

 

CopyCells Intro

Copy Adjacent Cells

Fill Handle

There are a number of ways that a range of cells can be copied and pasted in Excel. The simplest way to copy multiple or a range of cells across from one column or row to another is use the mouse to drag the values across from one column or row to the next.

  1. In your worksheet, highlight the cells you wish to copy.

 

CopyCells Highlight

 

  1. In the bottom right-hand corner of your selection, position your mouse so that the mouse pointer changes to a small cross.

 

CopyCells Mouse Pointer

 

  1. Drag the mouse across to the cells you wish to fill.

 

CopyCells Drag Across

 

  1. Release the mouse to copy the information into the blank cells.

CopyCells ReleaseMouse

 

This method works well for both copying of cells from column across to an adjacent column on the right, or from a row down to the next row.

Quick Menu

  1. In your worksheet, highlight the cells you wish to copy.

 

CopyCells Highlight

 

  1. Right-click on the cells you wish to copy to view the quick menu and select Copy.

 

CopyCells Right click

 

Note that the source cells have small moving lines around them indicating that the information is ready to paste.

  1. Select the first destination cell and then right-click once again and select Paste.
    OR Press the Enter key on the keyboard to paste the cell data.
    You do not have to select the entire destination range where you wish to paste the cell information; you only need to select the first cell.

 

CopyCells Right Click Paste

 

Copy Non-Adjacent Cells

  1. In your worksheet, highlight the non-adjacent cells you wish to copy by highlighting the first range of cells, and then holding down the CTRL key, highlight the second range of cells.

 

CopyCells Non adjacent

 

  1. Then, in the Ribbon, select Home > Clipboard > Copy or press CTRL + C on the keyboard. You will notice that small little moving lines appear around both selected ranges.

 

CopyCells Ribbon Copy

 

  1. Select the cell where you wish to paste your data and then, in the Ribbon, select Home > Clipboard > Paste OR press CTRL + V on the keyboard.

 

CopyCells Ribbon Paste

 

  1. When you select Paste on the Ribbon, or CTRL + V on the keyboard, you are left with the small moving lines around your original cells. This is because the information is still on the clipboard and can be pasted as often as you like by using CTRL + V or selecting Paste in the Ribbon. If you wish to exit this mode you can either use ENTER on the keyboard to paste your data, or, if you have already pasted your data, you can press Esc on the keyboard to remove the small moving lines.

Copy Entire Columns and/or Rows

  1. To copy a column, select the entire column using the column header.

 

CopyCells select column

 

  1. Right-click to bring up the quick menu and click Copy.

 

CopyCells right click copy

 

  1. Select the column where you want to paste the copied cells, and right-click on the column header of the destination column. Click Insert Copied Cells.

 

CopyCells insert copied cells

 

A new column is inserted before the column you selected. This new column will contain the copied cells.

 

CopyCells new column

 

Note: if you have selected a blank column (i.e., no data in any of the cells), you can just press ENTER on the keyboard or select Paste from the quick menu to paste the copied data into the existing column.

You copy a row in the same way.

Click in the row header of the row you wish to copy to select the row, and then right-click and select Copy.

 

CopyCells row copy

 

Right-click on the destination row header and to insert a row with the copied data, click Insert Copied Cells, or click Paste to paste the data into an existing row.

 

CopyCells row paste

 

Copy Formulas

If you have a cell with a formula in it, and you wish to use that formula in adjacent, or non-adjacent cells, you can copy the formula in the same way as you would copy cells above.

 

CopyCells Copy Formula

 

  1. Select the cell that contains the formula, and then either:
  1. Right-click and select Copy.
    OR Press CTRL + C on the keyboard.
    OR In the Ribbon, select Home > Clipboard > Copy.

 

CopyCells-Copy Formula Mode

 

Small moving lines indicate that the cell has been copied.

  1. Select the cells where you want to paste the formula.

 

CopyCells Paste Formula

 

  1. Then either right-click and select Paste.
    OR Press CTRL + V or ENTER on the keyboard.
    OR In the Ribbon, select Home > Clipboard > Paste.

 

CopyCells Paste Formula Change

 

As you look down at the copied formula, you will notice that the formula automatically changes according to the row and column you are copying down or across to.

Note: You can also copy and paste an exact formula so that the row and column information don’t change.

Copy Cell Data or Formula

In the picture above, the formatting from cell E3 was pasted into cells E4:E7 along with the formula. The same thing happens when you copy cell data without a formula. To prevent this from happening, select paste options to just paste the formulas without the format.

  1. Copy the cell using the Ribbon or the keyboard as required.
  1. Then, right-click and select Paste Options > Paste Formulas.

 

CopyCells Paste Special Formula

 

OR

In the Ribbon, select Home > Clipboard > Paste > Paste Formulas.

 

CopyCells Paste Special Formula-Ribbon

 

This pastes the formulas into the selected cells without any formatting.

Copy a Formula to Adjacent Cells

You can also drag the formula down to the adjacent cells by using the fill handle.

 

CopyCells Drag Formula

 

Note that this method will also copy the formatting down to the adjacent cells along with the formula.

If required, it is also possible to use the Paste Options to paste the formula as text.

Copy-Paste Multiple Cells in Google Sheets

Copying and pasting in Google Sheets works in much the same way as it does in Excel.

  1. Highlight the cells you wish to copy, and then, on the keyboard press CTRL + C or in the menu, select Edit > Copy.

 

CopyCells GS Menu Copy

 

  1. Select the destination cell and press CTRL + V on the keyboard, or in the menu, select Edit > Paste.

 

CopyCells GS Menu Paste

 

You may get a message that you need to install an extension to use Edit > Paste.

 

CopyCells GS Install Addin

 

You can either dismiss the information message and use CTRL + V to paste the cell data, or you can install the extension into your browser to enable you to use Edit > Paste on the menu.
As with Excel, you can use Paste Special to paste only part of the cell contents: formulas, values, format, etc.

  1. In the Menu, select Edit > Paste Special and then select the option required.

Adjacent Cells

To copy the cell data across to adjacent cells using the mouse, highlight the cells containing the data, and then, drag the mouse pointer across to the desired destination cells.

 

CopyCells GS Drag

 

Non-Adjacent Cells

Selecting non-adjacent cell ranges in Google Sheets works the same as in Excel. Select the first range then, holding down the CTRL key, select the second range. Then copy both ranges using CTRL + C or in the Menu, select Edit > Copy.

 

CopyCells GS Non adjacent

 

Select the destination location and the press CTRL + V or, in the Menu, select Edit > Paste.

Copy Entire Columns and/or Rows

  1. As with Excel, right-click in the header of the column, then click Copy.

 

CopyCells gs column select

 

  1. Right-click in the column header of the destination column. Google will not automatically insert a new column so insert a column first if you do not wish to overwrite the data already in the column. Click Insert 1 column left.

 

CopyCells gs insert column

 

  1. Right-click in the new column header and click Paste.

 

CopyCells gs paste column

 

The copied data is pasted into the new column.

 

CopyCells gs column pasted

 

Copying an entire row works in the same way; just click the row header instead of the column header!

For more information on copying and pasting in Excel and Google Sheets, see: