Ignoring Paragraph Marks when Pasting

Sharon has text in which information is separated by paragraph marks. She wants to copy it to a single cell in an Excel worksheet, but whenever she tries pasting the information, Excel separates the information into different cells based on the paragraph marks.

This behavior (recognizing the paragraph marks as the start of a new chunk of data) is normal in Excel. There are, however, a couple of ways you can approach the problem.

The first is to simply change how you are doing your pasting. Follow these steps:

  1. In Word or whatever is your source program, copy the desired text to the Clipboard. (Selecting it and pressing Ctrl+C will do fine.)
  2. In Excel, select the cell where you want the information pasted.
  3. Press F2. This switches to edit mode for the cell, and you should see the insertion point blinking in the Formula bar. (If you don’t want to take your hands off the mouse, you could also double-click the cell to enter edit mode.)
  4. Press Ctrl+V to paste the information from the Clipboard.

That’s it; the information is pasted into the single cell. This works because you were in edit mode before you did the paste, so everything was done in the selected cell rather than going through Excel’s normal import filter.