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: Retaining Formatting After a Paste Multiply.

Retaining Formatting After a Paste Multiply

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2015)

One of the really cool features of Excel is the many ways you can manipulate data using the Paste Special command. This command allows you to do all sorts of things to you data, as you paste it into a worksheet. One such manipulation you can perform is to multiply data as you paste. For instance, you can multiply all the values being pasted by -1, thereby converting them into negative numbers. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Place the value -1 in an unused cell of your worksheet.
  2. Select the value and press Ctrl+C. Excel copies the value (-1) to the Clipboard.
  3. Select the range of cells that you want to multiply by -1.
  4. Choose Paste Special from the Edit menu. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Paste Special dialog box.

  6. Click on the Multiply radio button.
  7. Click on OK.

At this point Excel multiplies the values in the selected cells by the value in the Clipboard. Unfortunately, if the cells in the selected range had special formatting, the formatting is also now gone, and the format of the cells is set to be the same as the cell you selected in step 2.

To make sure that the formatting of the target cells is not changed while doing the Paste Special, there is one other option you need to select in the Paste Special dialog box—Values. In other words, you would still select Multiply (as in step 5), but you would also select Values before clicking on OK.

With the Values radio button selected, Excel only operates on the values in the cells, and leaves the formatting of the target range unchanged.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2655) 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: Retaining Formatting After a Paste Multiply.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adjusting Your View of 3-D Graphs

Do you use Excel's charting capabilities to display three-dimensional views of your data? The program provides a way that you ...

Discover More

Finding Unused Names

After months or years of naming things (such as cell ranges), you may find your workbook cluttered with a bunch of names that ...

Discover More

Finding the Dates for Minimums and Maximums

If you use Excel to maintain a collection of data, you may need to find information in one column based on information in an ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Better Use of Heading Space

If your column headings are too large to work well in your worksheet, why not turn them a bit? Here's how.

Discover More

Checking All Cell Formatting in VBA

When your macro checks the formatting used for a cell, it needs to be careful that the type of formatting being checked is ...

Discover More

Using Custom Number Formats

Most formatting needs are met by using the predefined formatting options in Excel. The program also allows you to move beyond ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.