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The changed copy and paste options in Excel 2010

Microsoft has modified the copy and paste functionality in the different Office 2010 applications. Let’s have a look how this works in Excel 2010.

Excel 2010 Copy and Paste

As you can see, some new icons were added. And the best: like in other functions (for example for changing the font size), when hovering with the mouse over icons you’ll see the changes in real time.

Excel 2010 Copy and Paste

The new icons are mostly corresponding to the options found in the dialog when selecting “Paste special” from the context menue in Excel 2007. Let’s have a closer look to the new icons:

Excel 2010 Icon Paste all values and formattings to the new range.
Excel 2010 Icon Paste only the value without any formattings.
Excel 2010 Icon Paste the values/functions and number formats.
Excel 2010 Icon Paste the values/functions and formattings.
Excel 2010 Icon Paste the values and formattings, however don’t paste the border lines.
Excel 2010 Icon Also paste the widths of the source columns.
Excel 2010 Icon Transpose the copied cells.
In the group „Paste Values“ we can see following icons:
Excel 2010 Icon Just copy the values only, not functions.
Excel 2010 Symbol Copy and paste the values only and number formats.
Excel 2010 Symbol Copy and paste the values and formattings.
In the last group “Other Paste Options”, we’ll find following icons:
Excel 2010 Icon Just paste the formattings.
Excel 2010 Symbol Paste links to the source cells.
Excel 2010 Symbol Paste a picture.
Excel 2010 Icon Paste a linked picture.

The options “Paste special” dialog have not been changed, however a new option “All merging conditional formats” has been added.

Excel 2010 Copy and Paste

This option copies the conditional formattings and adds them to the target range. If you’ve just copied and pasted some data, you can change retrospectively the paste method. In this case, live preview does not work. Perhaps Microsoft will add this later.

Excel 2010 Copy and Paste

The new copy and paste options are also present in Word 2010. I’m very pleased about this, it’s a very easy way to remove source formattings without the need to click on different options.

This article has also been published in German and in English on the following sites:



Engineers should stop engineering at one point in time and see the practicality of the usage of features. Hence, new products come along stop calling it Excel and see what happens? Name it something else and people will stick to what they like. If you perpetuate the name of the product you can change it with no responsibility for the user experience. That is not engineering, that is just plain chaos… I am not going to tell you how bad it is. You probably hear it enough, and think that the user is out there not knowing what they want.
Most products have a summit… There is little or no alternative… So, it would be an act of kindness to the world if you step out of your plan and and think of somebody else’s plan… We would be far far more advanced…

Hi tgizmo,

sorry, in this case I can not help. I can just point you to some forums and ask the question there. I can recommend the Excel Guru Forum and the Codecage Forum.

Regards 🙂

I also hate the new copy/paste “feature”. It takes forever and freezes my computer. I know you said there is no option to disable the feature in Oct but I’m asking again hoping for a different answer. How do you disable this “feature”?

Hi D Becker

I am afraid that there is no option in Excel for disabling and/or modifying the context menu copy and paste options by using the Excel interface. However, the VBA MenuRighter Add-In from Doug Glancy allows you to configure the context menue. Hope this helps.

Regards, Mourad

How do I get rid of the paste icons? I hate them! For me, it is easiest if everything is named, and alphabetized – icons don’t do that, and it is too hard for me to see them. What can I do to get the words – which make more sense than pictures – back? Like more computer users, I am quite literate – meaning I can read.

Mourad Louha

Hi Pam…

I did also had some learning curve for getting familiar with the ribbon. However, there are some helping tools on the net, for example the interactive guides for Office 2010. For example, the guide for Microsoft Excel is located here: Microsoft Excel 2010: Interactive menu to ribbon guide.

An addtional tool is the Ubit Classic Menue, which creates a new toolbar and emulates the old menues. As far as I know, the Add-In is free for private use. Hope this helps.

Best Regards 🙂

Pam Robinson

I absolutely hate these new icons in Windows 10! I cannot work out from the little pictures what each is supposed to do & you don’t get any information when you hover over them.
Neither can I find a way to get text instead without buying a program from Microsoft (& others) that will return the ribbon to the Classic view!!! Thats a good way to make money – change things so that users don’t like them & then sell them a download to make it look as it always did! Way to go Microsoft.

Hi Larry DeVries…

as far as I know, normally the other copy options are only not visible, if you are in edit mode for the cell.

I have also seen some similar problems here (I think so) on a MS Answers Forum. Seems that some other software can cause the problem.

If this does not help, I recommend to ask the question on the MS Answers Forum or on the Excel Guru Forum or on the TheCodecage Forum.

Regards 🙂

Larry DeVries

I recently installed Office 2010 on a laptop running Windows 7 Home, 64 bit. the paste options that I see highlighted in your article are missing from my Excel. It shows “paste text only,” but that is the only icon. It also shows Use Import Wizard…and Paste Special…, but that is it. It seems to default to Paste test only, as when I paste, I am not getting formats or formulas. Very frustrating…any ideas?

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