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Chapter 2. Basic Workbook Skills > Understanding How Excel Pastes Data

Understanding How Excel Pastes Data

If you want to use data that has already been entered on your worksheet, you can cut or copy it, and then paste it in another location. When you cut or copy data, the data is stored in an area of memory called the Windows Clipboard. When pasting a range of cells from the Windows Clipboard, you only need to specify the first cell in the new location. After you select the first cell in the new location and then click the Paste button, Excel automatically places all the selected cells in the correct order. Depending on the number of cells you select before you cut or copy, Excel pastes data in one of the following ways:

  • One to one. A single cell in the Windows Clipboard is pasted to one cell location.

  • One to many. A single cell in the Windows Clipboard is pasted into a selected range of cells.

  • Many to one. Many cells are pasted into a range of cells, but only the first cell is identified. The entire contents of the Windows Clipboard will be pasted starting with the selected cell. Make sure there is enough room for the selection; if not, the selection will copy over any previously occupied cells.

  • Many to many. Many cells are pasted into a range of cells. The entire contents of the Windows Clipboard will be pasted into the selected cells. If the selected range is larger than the selection, the data will be repeated in the extra cells. To turn off the selection marquee and cancel your action, press the Esc key.


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