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Copying to Very Large Ranges

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: Copying to Very Large Ranges.

Chris wonders if there is a fast way to copy a cell to a very large range. He knows how to use the mouse to scroll in order to select the target range, but if he's copying to thousands (or tens of thousands) of cells, it takes an awfully long time to scroll through screen after screen.

Using the mouse to select large ranges of cells is cumbersome, at best. There are much easier ways to select large ranges, and these selection methods can be used to easily copy values to those large ranges.

Let's say that you have a value in cell A3 and you want to copy it to a large range, such as C3:C55000. The easiest way to do the copy is to follow these steps:

  1. Select cell A3.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy its contents to the Clipboard.
  3. Click once in the Name box, above column A. (Before you click, the Name box contains "A3," which is the cell you just copied.)
  4. Type C3:C55000 and press Enter. The range is selected.
  5. Press Ctrl+V.

Easy, huh? A similar approach to selecting large ranges could also be used with the Go To box, in this manner:

  1. Select cell A3.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy its contents to the Clipboard.
  3. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Go To dialog box.

  5. In the Reference box type C3:C55000.
  6. Click OK. The range is selected.
  7. Press Ctrl+V.

If you ever find yourself needing to copy to very large ranges using a macro, you can do so using a single command. To copy only the value from A3 to the range C3:55000, you would use the following:

Range("C3:C55000") = Range("A3").Value

If you instead wanted to copy both values and formats to the large range, then you could use this command:

Range("A3").Copy Destination:=Range("C3:C55000")

Regardless of how you perform your copying task, make sure you are patient. Depending on what you are copying, it can take quite a while for the operation to complete. If you are copying a formula to such a large range, then it can take very long as Excel performs the thousands of new calculations you've required of it.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6778) 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: Copying to Very Large Ranges.

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Comments for this tip:

Maro    23 Oct 2016, 13:36
Many thanks. you saved a lot of time and effort
M    20 Sep 2016, 13:34
This worked! Thank you so much I came across a lot of tips which none worked until this one. YOU ROCK! Thanks so much for sharing.
Ron Smyrski    31 May 2016, 22:11
Copy of large arrays (100+ rows by 15+ columns) fails in Excel 365 on iPad and iPhone. This is a critical bug in the product that needs to be fixed. I would love to hear of solutions or work-arounds. Thanks
allen@sharonparq.com    25 Feb 2016, 09:49
Thanks, Sue.

In tackling macros, I'm sure this will be helpful:


Sue Vincent    25 Feb 2016, 09:47
Thanks, Allen, I wish I'd looked for this simple solution years ago, rather than sticking with my scrolling method! Happy to have found it. Now off to see if I can figure out macros as my next time saver!

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