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Now Who Told Excel To Paste That Data?

Thursday, January 12th, 2006 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help

Now Who Told Excel To Paste That Data?

Have you ever found yourself asking that question? (Or, in my case, asking the computer the question in my “I’m not amused, just annoyed” voice).

You may have, especially if you work with hidden cells. (You know, hidden rows and columns with data in them that’s necessary but not to be displayed.)

When you select a range of cells to copy that contain hidden data you get an unhappy surprise when you paste. The paste brings you both the visible and hidden data.

Now what?

Delete or re-hide the data, I suppose.

Sounds like a lot of extra work to me, how about you?

Yeah—I thought you might agree.

So the question begs to be asked: Is there a way to copy / paste only the visible data?

Good question.

Fortunately, I’ve got a good answer for you.

Yes! There is a way to bring only the visible data in the paste.

(Happy dance time!)

I’m sure by now you’re ready to find out how, so let’s get to it.

The first thing you need to do is highlight the cells to be copied (including the hidden data –don’t worry about trying to “skip” it).

Now we need to get to the Go To window. You can do this many different ways – you could use the Edit menu, Go To choice -or- Ctrl + G -or- Alt, E then G -or- F5. Pick one, any one, just as long as you’re looking at this window.


Now click the Special button.

In the Go To Special window select the Visible cells only option.


Click OK.

You should be back in your worksheet with the data still highlighted.

Be sure not to click on any cells—you don’t want to remove the highlighting as that will also remove the settings you just accomplished.

At this point, you’re ready for a copy / paste as usual —the big difference is that you’ll only paste visible data.

Bye-bye hidden data. (Happy dance again!)

~ April

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