The Excel Skinny

A blog about Excel and its users

The Paste Special shortcut can be used for a plethora of reasons.  I find myself using it most often when copying and pasting between two windows that do not share the same formatting.  

I can copy data in one format, and then paste into another document by using the Paste Special – Values Only option, which will only bring the values over and automatically match the format of my second sheet.  

Step 1: Copy data.  To do this execute the Copy shortcut, Command + C (⌘C).  

Step 2: Now that we have our cell copied, scroll to where you want to Paste this data and execute the Paste Special shortcut.


Step 3: A pop up will appear asking you what sort of Special Paste you wish to execute:

I am most familiar with the Values option as this only brings over raw values and nothing else, but as you can see there are many other options provided.  For this example I will stick with my favorite, Paste Special – Values:

Hit Enter or click OK and your data will Paste!

Since I chose Values only the data Copy Me was pasted.  The font formatting was not transferred at all.  

This is a great tool when dealing with multiple spreadsheets or documents that have different formatting.  It ensures the data you are pasting matches the data already in your spreadsheet.  


This week we’re going to learn how to copy and paste in Microsoft Excel for Mac with shortcuts.  Although they are 2 separate shortcuts, copy and paste almost always are executed one after the other.  


The copy shortcut has to be one of the most used shortcuts for Microsoft Excel.  Very rarely will I open up an Excel spreadsheet and not execute this shortcut.  It ensures the information is copied correctly, has the ability to copy formulas, will copy over any information in the cell you paste it, and is a simple one modifier key shortcut.

Step 1: Select the cell you wish to copy.

Step 2: Execute the “Copy” shortcut.  The “Copy” shortcut can be found on the “C” key.  The “Copy” text is presented in the color that corresponds with only 1 modifier key, the “command” key.  Therefore our shortcut is “command” + “C”.


The copied cell will now be animated with blinking lines that border the cell.  This is also useful if you forget which cell you have copied, it’s the blinking one!

Now that we have a copied cell we must move onto the Paste function.


We have the cell with the text “Copy Me” copied and now we must paste it.  

Step 1: Select the cell you wish to paste your copied information into.  

Step 2: Execute the “Paste” shortcut. The Paste shortcut is located convientiely next to the “Copy” shortcut, on the “V” key.  “Paste” is also written in a color that corresponds to the “command” modifier key, and thus our shortcut is “command” + “V”.


After executing this shortcut, our copied data will appear in the selected cell.  

Once you get use to it, the Copy and Paste shortcuts will become your most used, and most efficient shortcuts on Microsoft Excel for Mac.  

Using the "Fill Down" shortcut

Last Monday I re-discovered the fill down shortcut. It's one of the most underrated (and under-used) shortcuts in Excel for Mac. What does it do? It takes the data and/or formula from the active cell, and applies it to the cells in the selected range. Here's how to execute Fill Down: 

Step 1: After navigating to the active cell from which you would like to copy data, hold down shift + down arrow to expand the selection range. 

Step 2: The “Fill Down” shortcut can be found on the “D” key of your Excel Skin, and can be also identified by the large yellow arrow pointing downwards. Since the text is yellow we must look at the modifier keys and find the corresponding yellow text. The “control” key is the only modifier key with yellow, therefore our shortcut is executed by pressing "control" and "D". ⌃D



The data from the cell above now should be copied into the cell you have selected.

This shortcut saves even more time than the copy-paste shortcuts, and can be lead to a more fluid Microsoft Excel experience. Try the “Fill Down” shortcut in your next spreadsheet and you’ll never stop using it!