The guide on this page shows you the best keyboard shortcuts for capturing or copying data, and then pasting it back in other parts of the worksheet in Microsoft without the need for a mouse. Selecting data and special paste options are helpful to getting the most from Excel!
When you’re looking for a specific action – like selecting a set of data or a cell or taking data from another application and then pasting into Excel, you might need a few tips to help you work more efficiently.
We put together this guide to consolidate the various capture/select and paste related keyboard shortcuts into a specific category so you can quickly learn a specific set of some of the best options.
What are keyboard shortcuts
It might seem obvious and you’re probably already familiar, but JUST in case, a keyboard shortcut is a quick method that allows you to perform a function on your computer with the press of a set of buttons.
One of the most common and well-known shortcuts would be the Paste function, CTRL + V.
This means that you press the CTRL key and the V key at the same time on your PC, it will paste any highlighted text or data in any application – like a web browser or Microsoft Word.
Copy data in a cell, column, or row
- CTRL + C
Paste data in a cell, column, or row
- CTRL + V
- After pasting data in a cell, press CTRL to bring up the expanded Paste options menu.
- Mouse / hover over the icons to see what the paste action is.
Select an entire table or dataset
- CTRL + A
- This won’t select cells outside of the table or dataset on first click.
- While still holding down CTRL, continue to press A to expand selection (ie, include columns, remainder of worksheet).
Opens the Paste Special dialogue box
- Ctrl + Alt + V
- This dialogue box lets you set the precise paste conditions, such as paste values, formula only with/without formatting, transpose at same time, and more.
Special Paste Keys
Instead of using the Paste Special shortcut, you can press ALT and then subsequent keys to do special paste actions:
- Alt + E + S – Allows to play w the formatting + different operations you can perform without directly applying a formula.
- Alt H V T – for paste as text
- Alt H V V – for paste as values
- Alt H V S C Enter – for paste comments/notes
Delete and move cell
- CTRL –
- To for delete and move cell (not just clear contents like with the Del key).
- This is the same as right clicking and selecting Delete.
Select entire column
- CTRL + Space key
- This is helpful to use while entering a formula because you don’t have to scroll up and down to grab the entire column.
Select entire row
- Shift + Space
More Keyboard Shortcuts
Looking to do more with keyboard shortcuts? Check out our guide on the best navigation shortcuts: The Best Movement Keyboard Shortcuts in Microsoft Excel (2022)