As you work in Microsoft Excel, you’ll often find yourself copying and pasting values within and between your spreadsheets. But often, these values are tied to formulas, or contain cell references. Sometimes, you want to paste only the values, without any of the underlying formatting or references. Fortunately, this is easy to do. Let’s learn how to paste special values in Microsoft Excel.
How to Paste Special Values in Excel
Imagine a column of numbers contained in cells D1:D6. At first glance, they simply look like numbers. But if you click into any of the cells, you’ll see that these are actually references to cells located elsewhere on your worksheet. If you simply copy and paste these values, then change them later, you might create errors in your data.
In other words, you want to paste only the values, not the references and formulas contained in the cells. By default, that’s exactly how pasting in Excel would handle the data. But fortunately, you have an easy alternate option.
To paste special values in Excel, begin by clicking and dragging your cursor to select the range of data you want to copy. Here again, the range is D1:D6. Then, press Command + C on your keyboard (Control + C on Windows) to copy the data to your clipboard.
Then, click into the first cell where you want to paste your data. Right-click, and you’ll see an array of new options. Hover over the Paste Special subsection, and then choose Values from your list of options.
Excel will paste the data, preserving only the actual values. Formulas, references, and other formatting will be removed. This is the perfect way to paste in Excel without risking errors or corruption to your data.
As you can see, it’s easy to paste special values in Excel to keep your workbook data intact.