Shortcuts for Copying Cells in Your Excel Workbook

It's easy to copy the contents of a cell or a range of cells to another location on the same page or a different page of your Excel workbook. It's also easy to copy cell contents to another workbook. Use these quick-copy techniques to make sure your cell information gets to the right location.

  • Copy using Toolbar Buttons. Select the cell or range of cells that you wish to copy by clicking on the individual cell or dragging over the range of cells to highlight them. Click the Copy button on the toolbar. Click in the cell to which you wish to copy. If you are copying a range of cells, click in the upper left-hand cell of the range to which you wish to copy. Click the Paste button on the toolbar or press the Enter key to perform the copy operation.
  • Copy using Menu Commands. Copy the selected cell(s) by choosing Edit, Copy from the menu. Click in the destination cell, then choose Edit, Paste from the menu.
  • Copy using Shortcut Menus. Copy the selected cell(s) by right-clicking on the cell and choosing Copy from the pop-up menu. Right-click in the destination cell, then choose Paste from the pop-up menu.
  • Copy using Shortcut Keys. Copy the selected cell(s) by pressing Ctrl+C on the keyboard. Click in the destination cell, then press Ctrl+V on the keyboard.

All of the above techniques work within a single Excel spreadsheet, across multiple sheets of the same Excel workbook, and also between one workbook and another. The following copy operation works within a single worksheet, or across multiple worksheets if both the worksheets are visible on the screen simultaneously (you can use the Window, Arrange command to display multiple worksheets simultaneously).

  • Copy using Drag and Drop. Click on the cell or drag over the cells you wish to copy. Place the mouse pointer on one of the sides of the selected cell or cells. The mouse pointer will turn into an arrow. Press the Ctrl key. A small plus sign will appear next to the mouse pointer arrow. While holding down the Ctrl key, drag the edge of the selected cell(s) to the new location, either in the active worksheet, or in another worksheet that is displayed onscreen. When you release the mouse button, the copied material will be pasted in the new location.

When you have finished the copy and paste operation, if a marquee-type border appears around the original cell(s) you copied, press the ESC key to remove the border.

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