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Ignoring Paragraph Marks when Pasting

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Ignoring Paragraph Marks when Pasting.

Sharon has text in which information is separated by paragraph marks. She wants to copy it to a single cell in an Excel worksheet, but whenever she tries pasting the information, Excel separates the information into different cells based on the paragraph marks.

This behavior (recognizing the paragraph marks as the start of a new chunk of data) is normal in Excel. There is, however, an easy way to approach the problem. Follow these steps:

  1. In Word or whatever is your source program, copy the desired text to the Clipboard. (Selecting it and pressing Ctrl+C will do fine.)
  2. In Excel, select the cell where you want the information pasted.
  3. Press F2. This switches to edit mode for the cell, and you should see the insertion point blinking in the Formula bar.
  4. Press Ctrl+V to paste the information from the Clipboard.

That's it; the information is pasted into the single cell. This works because you were in edit mode before you did the paste, so everything was done in the selected cell rather than going through Excel's normal import filter.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3164) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Ignoring Paragraph Marks when Pasting.

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Comments for this tip:

Bob B.    12 Aug 2013, 11:56
Excellent..I do a lot of cut and paste of text into cells and it has always been a struggle when the text is broken into paragraphs. I'll try this tip but what I found just recently and this may just be with Excel 2010 is if instead of pasting directly into the cell; if you paste into the display window at the top of the sheet it seems to accomplish the same result.

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