The steps in this guide are going to show you how to copy a column in Excel. We will briefly cover this process at the top of the article, then continue below into more detail with pictures for each of the steps.
- Open your spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
- Click the letter at the top of the column you wish to copy.
- Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected column, or right-click on the column and choose Copy.
- Click the letter of the column to the right of where you want to paste the copied column.
- Press Ctrl + V to paste it, or right-click the selected cells and choose the Paste option.
An important element of using Microsoft Excel effectively is to accomplish certain tasks more quickly. One of the best ways to do this is to copy data that already exists in your spreadsheet and paste it into another location within that sheet.
You may already be familiar with copying and pasting a single cell, but the same principle will apply to larger groups of cells as well. Our tutorial below will show you how to select and copy an entire column in Excel so that you can paste it into a different location in the spreadsheet.
Copying and Pasting a Column in Microsoft Excel
The steps in this guide were performed in Microsoft Excel for Office 365, but will also work in other versions of Excel as well. Note that you can use this method to copy and paste columns and rows, as well as smaller groups of data in Excel.
Step 1: Open the Excel file containing the column that you want to copy.
Step 2: Click the letter at the top of the column that you want to copy.
Step 3: Right-click one of the selected cells and click the Copy button, or press Ctrl + C to copy on your keyboard.
Step 4: Click the column letter to the right of where you wish to paste the copied column.
Step 5: Right-click on the selected column and choose the Paste option, or press Ctrl + V on your keyboard.
There are also Copy and Paste options on the Home tab in Excel, as an additional way of accomplishing this task.
One of the benefits of copying and pasting large amounts of data like this is the ability to reuse information in other worksheets or workbooks. The method described above will work for both of those situations as well.
Note that you can optionally choose the Cut option instead of the Copy option if you would like to move a column to a different location instead of create a copy of it. The keyboard shortcut for Cut is Ctrl + X.
This method will also work if you wish to copy multiple columns within your spreadsheet, or if you would like to copy rows.
If a cell in your copied column contains a formula with a relational cell reference, Excel will update that reference based on the location of the copied column. If you aren’t interested in copying formula values but want to paste their results, then you can choose the Values option from the right-click menu when you are pasting. This will paste the copied cell value instead of the formula that would be pasted with the standard Paste option.
If you would like Excel to paste the formula exactly as it was copied, then you will need to adjust the formula in Excel. You can read more about absolute and relative cell references here.
If you don’t want to select the entire column, but a range of cells, click and hold on the top cell, drag the mouse down, then release the mouse button when all of those cells are selected.
Copying and pasting a column in this manner will also copy and blank cells contained within that row.
Do you have monetary values in your spreadsheet, but you don’t want to display the currency symbol? Find out how to change money formatting in Excel so that you are only displaying the values.
Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.
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