Moving and copying cells is a very common procedure when you are developing or editing your worksheets. Excel refers to moving by a different term, however. It is called cutting, which implies that you cut the information from one place and put it in another. Copying differs from cutting in that copying does not disturb the original cells; cutting clears them.
Whether you are cutting or copying, these operations involve the use of the Clipboard, a temporary storage area that is built into Windows. To cut or copy information, you must first select the cells you want to affect. Then do one of the following:
- To cut cells, just press Ctrl+X; this shortcut will work in all versions of Excel. If you don’t want to use the shortcut, then you could right-click the selection and choose Cut from the Context menu. You can also display the Home tab of the ribbon and click Cut in the Clipboard group.
- To copy the cells, just press Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Insert.; these shortcuts should work in all versions of Excel. You can also right-click the selection and choose Copy from the Context menu. You can also display the Home tab of the ribbon and click Copy in the Clipboard group.
Once you have done one of these, you can use the Paste or Paste Special commands to place your information elsewhere. Pasting functions the same as in other Windows programs; it places the contents of the Clipboard at the current cursor location. In the case of Excel, the information is placed in your worksheet beginning with the currently selected cell. You can paste the Clipboard contents by pressing Ctrl+V, right-clicking a cell and choosing Paste from the Context menu, or by clicking the Paste tool on the Home tab of the ribbon.
Within Excel there is another pasting option available. This option, called Paste Special, is rather unique. It allows you to specify how Excel should paste the information in the Clipboard. When you choose it, you will see the Paste Special dialog box. The settings in the dialog box control which portion of the information in the Clipboard you want pasted, as well as what operations you want taken on the information being pasted. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. The Paste Special dialog box.
To display the dialog box, display the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down-arrow under the Paste tool, then choose Paste Special.