Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Making an exact copy of a formula
the result in the active cell. (This technique also works if the formula uses cell references
or worksheet functions.)
Making an exact copy of a formula
When you copy a formula, Excel adjusts its cell references when you paste the formula to
a different location. Sometimes, you may want to make an exact copy of the formula. One
way to do this is to convert the cell references to absolute values, but this isn’t always
desirable. A better approach is to select the formula in Edit mode and then copy it to the
Clipboard as text. You can do this in several ways. Here’s a step-by-step example of how to
make an exact copy of the formula in A1 and copy it to A2:
1. Double-click A1 (or press F2) to get into Edit mode.
2. Drag the mouse to select the entire formula. You can drag from left to right or
from right to left. To select the entire formula with the keyboard, press End,
followed by Shift+Home.
3. Choose Home
Copy (or press Ctrl+C). This copies the selected text
(which will become the copied formula) to the Clipboard.
Clipboard
4. Press Esc to leave Edit mode.
5. Select cell A2.
6. Choose Home
Clipboard
Paste (or press Ctrl+V) to paste the text into cell A2.
You can also use this technique to copy just part of a formula, if you want to use that part
in another formula. Just select the part of the formula that you want to copy by
dragging the mouse, and then use any of the available techniques to copy the selection to the
Clipboard. You can then paste the text to another cell.
Formulas (or parts of formulas) copied in this manner won’t have their cell references
adjusted when they’re pasted into a new cell. That’s because the formulas are being copied
as text, not as actual formulas.
You can also convert a formula to text by adding an apostrophe ( ) in front of the equal sign. Then copy the formula
as usual, and paste it to its new location. Remove the apostrophe from the pasted formula, and it will be identical to
the original formula. And don’t forget to remove the apostrophe from the original formula as well.
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Converting formulas to values
If you have a range of formulas that will always produce the same result (that is,
dead formulas ), you may want to convert them to values. For example, if you use the
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