Pasting data into tables means more than just pasting values copied from elsewhere. Google Spreadsheets offers several Paste Special options. In addition to values, you can insert formulas, conditional formatting, and more.
Access Paste Special in Google Spreadsheets
As a refresh, there are a few simple ways to copy data into Google Spreadsheets. Once you do this, you will gain access to Paste Special.
- Right-click on the cells and select “Copy” from the context menu.
- Select the cells and click Edit> Copy in the menu.
- On Windows, press Ctrl + C or Command + C on a Mac.
To open Paste Special:
- Right-click the cells and point to Paste Special on the shortcut menu. Select Paste from the drop-down menu.
- Select the cells and go to Edit> Paste Special in the menu. Select Paste from the drop-down menu.
Paste special options into Google Spreadsheets
While some special options for pasting into Google Spreadsheets seem obvious enough, others may not. And whether you’re copying data, formulas, or formatting, it’s important to know which paste option to choose.
Let’s look at each of the eight currently available special trap options and what they do.
Insert values only
You can only see insert values as plain text that you would use in Microsoft Excel. This action inserts only plain text. If the data you are copying contains a formula, Paste Values inserts only the result of the formula.
Insert size only
If it is not the data you want to insert, but formatting, Paste Only Format is the desired action. This is an alternative to the Paint Formatting tool because it does not change any data and only inserts formatting.
Insert everything except the edges
You can have data with borders, formulas, and other formatting. Paste everything except borders does exactly what the name suggests. Pastes everything you copy, including data and formatting, except cell borders. This option allows you to avoid reformatting the boundaries when moving data.
Insert only column widths
If you take the time to give the columns in Google Spreadsheets the sizes you want, you can include those sizes elsewhere on your worksheet. For Insert Column Widths Only, only the column widths and nothing else will be inserted into the selected cells.
Enter only the formula
Opposite Paste Only Values, where you see only the result of the formula that you are copying, Paste Only Formula actually pastes the formula. A good example of using this special insertion option is adding totals to rows or columns. You can easily copy and paste the formula into the remaining cells.
Note: When inserting formulas, cell references should automatically adjust to their new locations on the worksheet.
Insert data validation only
Verifying your data in Google Spreadsheets can prevent incorrect data from being entered into your spreadsheet. Therefore, if you set up a data validation rule, you can use the Paste Data Validation Only command to copy and paste the same rule into other cells in your worksheet. Nothing other than data validation is inserted.
Paste only conditional formatting
For example, conditional formatting in Google Spreadsheets allows you to highlight spaces or errors and apply color scales based on values. If you are creating a conditional formatting rule that you want to apply to other parts of the worksheet, copy and paste only the conditional formatting using Paste. Nothing is inserted except conditional formatting.
The last and for many the most convenient of the special pasta options is Paste Transposed. This feature allows you to copy cells in a column and paste them in a row or vice versa. Basically, this allows you to convert a column to a row or a row to a column.
When entering data into a spreadsheet, anything that can speed up the task is welcome. The next time you need to copy and paste data, formulas, or formatting, remember your special options for pasting into Google Spreadsheets.