Microsoft Excel

Shortcut Key to Paste Values in Excel (Boss Mode!)

If you’re familiar with Microsoft Excel, you probably know how to use copy and paste. It’s a popular shortcut that many of us use on a daily basis.

If you use copy and paste frequently, you may even know the shortcut keys: Ctrl + C for copy, Ctrl + V for paste.

But here’s the thing. When you copy and paste a cell, you’re pasting all of the attributes associated with that cell – values, formulas, formatting attributes, and notes or comments.

What if you want to paste only the values? That’s where paste special comes in!

What Does Paste Values Do in Excel?

The paste values command lets you paste only the values, regardless of the other attributes you may have copied from a given cell.

Spreadsheet with formulas

In the spreadsheet (above) row 9 contains formulas. Cell E9 uses the SUM function to add values from E4:E8.

To copy values from row 9, we would need to use the Paste Values command.

  1. Drag to select cells B9:E9.
  2. Click Copy in the Home > Clipboard group.
  3. Select cell B14.
  4. Click the down-arrow under Paste to reveal various paste options then click Values.

Only the values are pasted into row 14. Pasting values this way ensures that none of the formatting attributes are included in the copied data.

Paste Options

Is There a Shortcut Key to Paste Only the Values?

People who sign up for Microsoft Excel training are always interested in shortcuts. The paste values option can be handy in a number of situations but surely there must be a more efficient way of using this command.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for paste values?

Sadly, Excel doesn’t have a shortcut key for paste values like it does for copy and paste. Instead, you need to use the Ctrl + Alt + V keyboard shortcut to display the Paste Special dialog box then press V to paste values.

Here’s the process, using keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Drag to select cells B9:E9.
  2. Press Ctrl + C to copy the data.
  3. Click to select cell B14.
  4. Press Ctrl + Alt + V to display the Paste Special dialog box then press V (for paste values).
  5. Press Enter to close the Paste Special dialog box and paste values into cells B14:E14.
Paste Special dialog box

Additional Options in the Paste Special Dialog Box

Notice in the screenshot (above) there are a dozen options available in the Paste Special dialog box.

Paste values is the one I use most often but Excel’s Paste Special dialog box lets you paste formatting, formulas, comments and notes.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll easily memorize the paste special commands you use on a regular basis.

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.