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: Trouble Recording Paste Special Formula.

Trouble Recording Paste Special Formula

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2016)

Joan ran into a problem on her system when she upgraded to Excel 2003. Prior to this version, she was able to create a macro for "Paste Special—Formula" by recording, and then assign that macro to a keyboard shortcut. When she upgraded to Excel 2003, she tried to recreate the macro by recording, and Excel generates an error message every time.

It's unclear why Excel would be generating an error message when trying to record such a simple macro. We were able to record the steps with no problem in all versions of Excel. It could be that the error is related, somehow, to the conditions existing when trying to do the recording. For instance, the Clipboard may not actually contain a formula that could be pasted, or you could be trying to paste in a protected worksheet.

Be that as it may, it is just as easy to create a Paste Special—Formula macro from scratch, regardless of the version of Excel you are using. The following is the same as what would have been recorded by the Macro recorder, and it can be entered directly into a macros module in the VBA Editor:

Sub PasteFormulas()
    Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteFormulas, _
      Operation:=xlNone, SkipBlanks:=False, _
      Transpose:=False
End Sub

Note that the macro has only a single line to do the actual pasting. In order to use it, simply copy some cells to the Clipboard, select where you want the formulas pasted, and then run the macro. You can assign it to a shortcut key or to a toolbar button to make using it even easier.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3149) 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: Trouble Recording Paste Special Formula.

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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