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Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Fancy Pasting Tricks

When you copy cells, everything comes along for the ride, including text, numbers, and formatting. For example, if you copy a column that has one cell filled with bold text and several other cells filled with dollar amounts (including the dollar sign), when you paste this column into its new location, the numbers will still have the dollar sign and the text will still have bold formatting. If you want to change this behavior, you can use one of Excel's fancy paste options.

In the past, these options could be intimidatingly complex. But Excel 2010 improves life with a new paste preview feature. This allows you to preview what your pasted cells will look like before you've actually pasted them into your worksheet.

Here's how to try it out. First, copy your cells in the normal way. (Don't cut them, or the Paste Special feature won't work.) Then, move to where you want to paste the information, go to the Home→Clipboard section of the ribbon, and click the drop-down arrow at the bottom of the Paste button. You'll see a menu full of tiny pictures, each of which represents a different type of paste (see Figure 3-7).

Here's where things get interesting. When you hover over one of these pictures (but don't click it), the name of the paste option pops up, and Excel shows you a preview of what the pasted data will look in your worksheet. If you're happy with the result, click the picture to finish the paste. Or move your mouse over a different option to preview its results. ...

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