Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Fancy Pasting Tricks
Moving Cells Around
Just drag your pointer over the block of cells you want to select.
You’ll know that you’re in the right place when the mouse pointer changes to a
four-way arrow. You can click any edge, but don’t click in the corner.
As you drag, a light gray box shows you where Excel will paste the cells.
If you drop the cells into a region that overlaps with other data, Excel prompts
you to make sure that you want to overwrite the existing cells. This convenience
isn’t provided with ordinary cut-and-paste operations. (Excel uses it for
dragand-drop operations because it’s all too easy to inadvertently drop your cells in
the wrong place, especially while you’re still getting used to this feature.)
Tip: Excel has a hidden dragging trick that impresses even the most seasoned users. To use it, follow the
steps listed above but click on the border of the selection box with the right mouse button instead of the
left. When you release the mouse button to finish the operation, a pop-up menu appears with a slew of
options. Using this menu, you can perform a copy instead of a move, shift the existing cells out of the way,
or use a special pasting option to copy values, formats, or links (explained next).
Fancy Pasting Tricks
When you copy cells, everything comes along for the ride, including text, numbers,
and formatting. For example, if you copy a column that has one cell filled with bold
text and several other cells filled with dollar amounts (including the dollar sign),
when you paste this column into its new location, the numbers will still have the
dollar sign and the text will still have bold formatting. If you want to change this
behavior, you can use one of Excel’s fancy paste options.
In the past, these options could be intimidatingly complex. But Excel 2010 improves
life with a new paste preview feature. This allows you to preview what your pasted
cells will look like before you’ve actually pasted them into your worksheet.
Here’s how to try it out. First, copy your cells in the normal way. (Don’t cut them,
or the Paste Special feature won’t work.) Then, move to where you want to paste the
information, go to the Home ➝ Clipboard section of the ribbon, and click the
dropdown arrow at the bottom of the Paste button. You’ll see a menu full of tiny pictures,
each of which represents a different type of paste (see Figure 15-7).
Here’s where things get interesting. When you hover over one of these pictures (but
don’t click it), the name of the paste option pops up, and Excel shows you a preview
of what the pasted data will look in your worksheet. If you’re happy with the result,