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: Creating a Shortcut for Pasting Values.

Creating a Shortcut for Pasting Values

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 28, 2012)

One of the most often-used commands in Excel is the Paste Special option from the Edit menu, where you can figure out exactly how you want information pasted into a worksheet. On the Paste Special dialog box, the Values selection is undoubtedly the one used the most. Since pasting only values in this manner is used so often, you might think that Microsoft would provide a shortcut key to, well, just paste values.

Unfortunately, they don't provide one. There are ways around this, however. One way is to just create a toolbar button that pastes values for you. All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Commands tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Commands tab of the Customize dialog box.

  4. In the list of Categories, select the Edit category.
  5. In the list of Commands, select Paste Values.
  6. Use the mouse to drag the Paste Values command from the Commands list to its new location on the toolbar. When you release the mouse button, the new icon appears on the toolbar.
  7. Click on Close to dismiss the Customize dialog box.

Now, whenever you want to paste just the values, you can click on the new toolbar button.

If you don't want to use the mouse to paste values, then you can use the tried-and-true keyboard sequence to paste values: Alt+E, S, V, Enter. This sequence selects the menus and dialog box options necessary to paste values.

If you want a shorter keyboard shortcut, the best way to do it is to create a macro that does the pasting for you, and then make sure that you assign a keyboard shortcut to the macro. For instance, create the following simple macro:

Sub PasteVal()
    Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlValues
End Sub

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F8 to display the Macro dialog box.
  2. From the list of available macros, select the PasteVal macro you just created.
  3. Click on Options. Excel displays the Macro Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Macro Options dialog box.

  5. In the Shortcut Key area, indicate the key you want used with the Ctrl key as your shortcut. For instance, if you want Ctrl+G to execute the macro, then enter a G in the Shortcut Key area.
  6. Click on OK to close the Macro Options dialog box.
  7. Click on Cancel to close the Macro dialog box.

Now, whenever you want to paste values, all you need to do is press Ctrl+G, the macro is run, and the values in the Clipboard are pasted to the selected cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2657) 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: Creating a Shortcut for Pasting Values.

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. ...

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