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Excel 2003: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Moving Cells Around

One of the most common reasons to select groups of cells on a worksheet is to copy or move them from one place to another. Excel is a champion of the basic cut-and-paste feature, and it also gives you worthwhile enhancements that allow you to do things like drag-and-drop blocks of cells and copy multiple selections to the clipboard at the same time.

Before you get started shuffling data from one place to another, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Excel allows you to cut or copy a single cell or a continuous range of cells. When you cut or copy a cell, everything goes with it, including the data and the current formatting.

  • When you paste cells onto your worksheet, you have two basic choices. You can paste the cells into a new, blank area of the worksheet, or, you can paste the cells in a place that already contains data. In this second case, Excel overwrites the existing cells with the new pasted data.

  • Cutting and copying cells works almost exactly the same way. The only difference you'll see is that when you perform a cut-and-paste operation (as opposed to a copy-and-paste operation), Excel erases the source data once the operation is complete. However, Excel doesn't remove the source cells from the worksheet. Instead, it just leaves them blank. (The next section shows you what to do if you do want to remove or insert cells, not just the data they contain.)

A Simple Cut-and-Paste or Copy-and-Paste

Here is the basic process you'll follow in any cut-and-paste or ...

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