Change Cell Values Using Paste Special
Q. I have a price list stored in a worksheet, and I need to increase all prices by 5 percent. Can I do this without reentering all the prices?
Excel provides two ways to accomplish this. The "traditional" technique goes something like this:
- Insert or find a blank column near the prices.
- In that column's first cell, enter a formula to multiply the price in that row by 1.05.
- Copy the formula down the column.
- Select and copy the entire column of formulas
- Select the original prices, and choose Edit, Paste Special.
- In the Paste Special dialog box, select Values to overwrite the original prices with the formulas' results.
- And finally, delete the column of formulas.
The other, more efficient approach also uses the Paste Special dialog box. To increase a range of values (prices, in this example) by 5 percent:
- Enter 1.05 into any blank cell.
- Select the cell and choose Edit, Copy.
- Select the range of values and choose Edit, Paste Special.
- Choose the Multiply option and click OK.
- Delete the cell that contains the 1.05.
Excel has a long history, and it continues to evolve and change. Consequently, the tips provided here do not necessarily apply to all versions of Excel.
In particular, the user interface for Excel 2007 (and later), is vastly different from its predecessors. Therefore, the menu commands listed in older tips, will not correspond to the Excel 2007 (and later) user interface.
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