Copying and Moving Data

In Lesson 2, you learned how to use the Fill feature to copy a particular entry to multiple cells . In this section, you take a closer look at the Copy feature. When you copy or cut data in a cell , that data is held in a temporary storage area (a part of the computer's memory) called the Clipboard.

Excel 2003 (and all the Office 2003 applications) makes it easy for you to work with the Clipboard because it can be viewed in the Office Clipboard task pane (you look at the Clipboard later in this lesson). This enables you to keep track of items that you have copied or cut to the Clipboard. The Clipboard not only enables you to copy or move data with Excel, but it enables you to place Excel data directly into another application (see Lesson 7, "Sharing Office Application Data," in Part I of this book).


Clipboard The Clipboard is an area of memory that is accessible to all Windows programs. The Clipboard is used to copy or move data from place to place within a program or between programs.

When you copy data, you create a duplicate of data in a cell or range of cells. Follow these steps to copy data:

  1. Select the cell(s) that you want to copy. You can select any range or several ranges if you want. (See Lesson 11, "Working with Ranges," for more information).

  2. graphics/copy.gif Click the Copy button on the Standard toolbar. The contents of the selected cell(s) are copied to the Clipboard.

  3. Select the first cell in the area where you would like to place the copy. (To copy the data to another worksheet or workbook, change to that worksheet or workbook first.)

  4. graphics/paste.gif Click the Paste button. Excel inserts the contents of the Clipboard at the location of the insertion point.


Watch Out! When copying or moving data, be careful not to paste the data over existing data (unless, of course, you intend to).

You can copy the same data to several places by repeating the Paste command. Items remain on the Clipboard until you remove them.

Using Drag and Drop

The fastest way to copy something is to drag and drop it. Select the cells you want to copy, hold down the Ctrl key, and drag the border of the range you selected (see Figure 8.4). When you release the mouse button, the contents are copied to the new location. To insert the data between existing cells, press Ctrl+Shift as you drag.

Figure 8.4. Dragging is the fastest way to copy data.


To drag a copy to a different sheet, press Ctrl+Alt as you drag the selection to the sheet's tab. Excel switches you to that sheet, where you can drop your selection into the appropriate location.

Moving Data

Moving data is similar to copying except that the data is removed from its original place and placed into the new location.

To move data, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells you want to move.

  2. graphics/cut.gif Click the Cut button.

  3. Select the first cell in the area where you want to place the data. To move the data to another worksheet, change to that worksheet.

  4. graphics/paste.gif Click Paste .

Using Drag and Drop to Move Data

You can also move data using drag and drop. Select the data to be moved, and then drag the border of the selected cells to its new location. To insert the data between existing cells, press Shift while you drag. To move the data to a different worksheet, press the Alt key and drag the selection to the worksheet's tab. You're switched to that sheet, where you can drop your selection at the appropriate point.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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