Formulas are the easiest and best way to perform calculations in Microsoft Excel. But they can often be lengthy and difficult to type in correctly. The last thing you want to do is type the same formula over and over, just to use it in your spreadsheet. Fortunately, Excel lets you easily copy and paste! Let’s learn how to paste formulas in Microsoft Excel.
How to Paste Formulas in Excel
Formulas in Excel are smart – drop them in a new location, and they’ll update to reflect and incorporate the data around them. This hints at the power of formulas. They offer tremendous repeatability. Type a formula in once, and you can often use it over and over in different locations in your spreadsheet.
Let’s consider a simple example. Cell D1 contains a formula that sums the three numbers to its left, in cells A1:C1. The formula is:
Now, imagine that you have three additional cells containing numbers that you want to sum: cells E3, F3, and G3. Since these cells aren’t directly adjacent to the cell containing your formula, you can’t simply drag the formula downward. You’ll need to paste your formula into the new cell.
To get started, click into the cell containing your formula, D1. Press Command + C on your keyboard (Control + C on Windows) to copy the contents of the cell, including the formula.
Then, go to the cell where you want to replicate the formula. Here, that’s cell H3. Right-click, then hover over Paste Special. The option you want is Formulas. Click on it.
Excel will paste in your formula. It will automatically update to capture the new data. Keep in mind, you’ll need to have the same number of values being summed.
As you can see, pasting formulas in Excel saves you time and hard work.