**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 Between Instances of Excel.

If you've ever worked with a system that is configured for two monitors, it is really quite amazing; it can change the way you work. For example, you might open two instances of Excel and put one of them on one monitor and the other on the other monitor. You can then work with both workbooks onscreen at the same time.

One thing you'll notice, however, is that copying information from one instance of Excel to another works differently than when you copy within the same instance. If you copy a cell that contains a formula and then paste it in the other instance, what gets pasted is the result of the formula, not the formula itself. You can't even use Paste Special from the Edit menu to paste formulas; that isn't an option when working with two instances.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get formulas from one instance of Excel to another. The best you can do is the following:

- In the source workbook, select a single cell that you want to copy.
- Press
**F2**. Excel switches to Edit mode. - While still in Edit mode, select everything in the cell (the entire formula).
- Press
**Ctrl+C**. Excel copies the formula to the Clipboard. - Press
**Esc**to exit Edit mode. - In the target workbook, select the cell where you want the formula pasted.
- Press
**F2**. Excel again switches to Edit mode. - Press
**Ctrl+V**. The formula is pasted into the cell. - Press
**Enter**. Edit mode is exited, and the formula is now safely in the target cell.

This tedious procedure must be used for each formula you want to copy between instances. For this reason, many people choose not to use separate instances of Excel, even if they have the luxury of multiple monitors. Instead, the work with different windows within the same instance of Excel. Follow these steps:

- Open the two workbooks you want to work with.
- Choose Arrange from the Window menu. Excel displays the Arrange Windows dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
- Choose Tiled. (You can choose other options, if you prefer, but I find that Tiled works best for me.)
- Click OK. The two workbooks are now side-by-side in the program window.
- Make sure the Excel window is not maximized. (Click the Restore button at the upper-right corner of the program window.)
- Position the non-maximized window in the left-most of your monitors.
- Drag the right border of the Excel program window onto the second monitor. A single instance of Excel now covers both monitors.
- Within the Excel window, use the mouse to arrange the two workbooks so one is on each monitor.

** Figure 1.** The Arrange Windows dialog box.

Since you are using a single instance of Excel—even though it extends across two monitors—you can now cut, copy, and paste as you normally would.

*ExcelTips* is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training.
This tip (3404) 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 Between Instances of Excel**.

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2016-11-28 17:07:47

scyren

2016-02-16 07:40:43

holene

Why Microsoft keep this ridiculous behaviour preserved for Windows Office, I have no idea.

2015-11-06 16:05:47

Why not use copy paste special sylk?

2014-05-31 05:52:42

Jo Bennett

2014-03-02 16:29:14

Rubz

Rik White, you are a smart cookie :)

2013-11-22 07:31:09

Jim

2013-11-21 12:46:58

Todd

2013-07-07 06:34:37

Jim

Enjoy your Irish.

2013-07-06 14:22:39

Rik White

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.

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