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Proper Copy

Monday, February 1st, 2010 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

So, the other day, I was sitting next to my sister as she worked on creating a new page of address labels. She was looking to have an entire page of the same address, which is a pretty common thing.

As we were talking, I’m watching what she’s doing. She types the new address in the first label, copies it and then individually pastes it into the other two labels in that row.

Looks good to me so far.

Well, we keep talking and I suddenly realize that she’s actually planning on pasting the address into each and every label on the page. That’s 29 pastes!

Being who I am, I stop mid-sentence and not so politely ask, “What are you doing”?

She looks at me funny and I mention copying an entire row of labels, then pasting three labels at a time. (Heck, I’ll even copy two rows of labels and begin pasting six at a time, but never individually!)

Her reply was a mutter of something about how every time she tries that, she ends up with a bunch of extra rows on a second page that somehow “magically” appear. She hates trying to remove them so badly that she’d rather actually complete 29 pastes!

With a little prodding, I got her to try it my way… and well, wonders never cease! We managed to complete a more efficient copy/paste, without the extra rows on page two.

She was quite happy with this, but then she wanted to know why she could never get it to work that way when I wasn’t sitting next to her.

Good question! So, I did some investigating and found an answer worth sharing.

The difference between adding an extra row of labels when you paste and simply pasting content into an existing row is in how you copied it in the first place.

Inserting an extra row:

I found that when we highlighted the entire row by clicking in the left margin and then copied the paste, it would result in an extra row being inserted into the document. (The click in the left margin selects everything about the row, seen and unseen, not just the cell’s contents).

Pasting into already existing cells:

However, if we clicked in the left cell and used the mouse to drag the highlight across the row, we would select only the cells and their contents for the copy. When we pasted from this type of copy, the cells simply filled with the data, without creating a new row.

Mystery solved!

~ April

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