Paste the resulting values, not the formula with Paste Special in Excel

Occasionally, you may need to use a formula to change the way data appears. And, it is often handy to be able to extract the resulting value of a formula, but not the formula itself.

For example, you can use a formula to remove extra spaces from data. If you then wanted to split the resulting values across columns, you would need to extract the values because you can only split text across columns, not formulas.

To paste values

  1. Select the cell(s) containing the formula(s).

  2. Press CTRL+C to copy.

  3. With the cell still selected, in the Edit menu, click Paste Special.

  4. In the Paste Special dialog box, select Values, then click OK.

Note: You can paste the resulting values over the original data to “change” it, or you can select different destination cells to contain the plain text.

The steps above describe how to replace the formulas with corresponding values.

Accessing all the functions in Excel with Insert Function

Excel contains a vast array of functions you can use to perform various calculations. You can use Insert Function to become familiar with the functions available in Excel and to become familiar with what each of the functions does.

Use Insert Function to insert a function you choose into an empty cell. You can search for a function by keyword or by category.

To launch the Insert Function dialog box

  1. Select the empty cell where you want the function to be stored.

  2. In the Insert menu, click Function.

  3. The Insert Function dialog box appears.

    Insert Function Dialog Box Insert Function Dialog Box
  4. In the Search for a function box, type a description of the function you want.

  5. Note: Alternatively, you can use the category dropdown list to see functions that all relate to a certain type of calculation like “Lookup & Reference.”
  6. In the Select a function area, click to select a function.

  7. Note: Excel displays a description of the selected function below the Select a function area.
  8. Click OK.

  9. In the Function Arguments dialog box, click in an argument box.

  10. Function Arguments Function Arguments

    Note: Excel displays a description for the argument that corresponds to selected box.

    If you have chosen a function that requires more than one argument, you can see descriptions for all required arguments by clicking in each of the boxes.