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Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Copying Multiple Items with the Clipboard

In Windows' early days, you could copy only a single piece of information at a time. If you copied two pieces of data, only the most recent item you copied would remain in the clipboard, a necessary way of life in the memory-starved computing days of yore. But nowadays, Excel boasts the ability to hold 24 separate cell selections in the Office clipboard. This information remains available as long as you have at least one Office application open.

Note

Even though the Office clipboard holds 24 pieces of information, you won't be able to access all this information in Windows applications that aren't part of the Office suite. If you want to paste Excel data into a non-Office application, you'll be able to paste only the data that was added to the clipboard most recently.

When you use the Home→Clipboard→Paste command (or Ctrl+V), you're using the ordinary Windows clipboard. That means you always paste the item most recently added to the clipboard. But if you fire up the Office clipboard, you can hold a lot more. Go to the Home→Clipboard section of the ribbon and then click the dialog box launcher (the small arrow-in-a-square icon in the bottom-right corner) to open the Clipboard panel. Now Excel adds all the information you copy to both the Windows clipboard and the more capacious Office clipboard. Each item that you copy appears in the Clipboard panel (Figure 3-11).

Figure 3-11. The Clipboard panel shows a list of all the items you've copied to ...

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