Make Short Work of Common Tasks: Use Excel's Paste Special Command

paste special command in ExcelIn Excel, when you want to copy information into a new column, the column’s width doesn’t automatically adjust to accommodate the new data. But if you use Excel's "Paste Special" option, you can copy the source column’s width to the target column.

In Excel 2007 and 2010, Paste Special is in the Clipboard group on the Home tab. In Excel 2003, Paste Special is on the Edit menu.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Select the data you want to copy, and press the Ctrl+C keys to copy the selected values to the Windows Clipboard.
  2. Click on a cell in the destination column.
  3. On the Home tab, click the Paste option in the Clipboard group and choose Keep Source Column Widths.
    Note: This option requires an extra step in 2007: Choose Paste Special from the Paste drop-down, click the Column Widths option in the Paste section, and click OK.

Excel will copy the data and the source column’s width to the target cells.

Get 9 more Excel copy & paste tips at 10 Powerful Ways to Use Excel's Paste Features.