Shortcut: Copying unformatted text

Oftentimes, I need to copy a cell’s contents into another application, usually Word or my email client. And often, I simply want the contents, not the associated formatting.

For many applications (Word included), you have the Paste Special… option. But in simple cases (or where there’s no such feature, in Gmail for example), there’s an easier way.

  • In Excel, highlight the cell in question.
  • Hit F2.
  • CTRL+Shift+Home. (This highlights the cell’s entire contents.)
  • CTRL+C.
  • Go to destination application.
  • CTRL+V.

It looks like a lot of steps, but when you actually do it, it’s oodles quicker than using the ribbons to accomplish the same.

If you need to copy multiple cells into an application bereft of the Paste Special… facility, then do a regular copy and paste from Excel into Notepad, and then do a copy and paste from Notepad to the destination. Cumbersome, but it works.

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