Google Sheets lets you copy and paste text and images between all of your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations — even if you're going from one type to another. For most uses, you can copy and paste with keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V on a PC, ⌘ + C and ⌘ + V on a Mac).
When you copy data, the border of the cell or range of cells will turn solid orange to help you remember where you copied the data from. When you cut data from a cell or a range of cells, you'll see an orange dotted line around the cell(s).
Copying and pasting in Google Sheets copies all properties of a cell into the cell you're pasting into, including text, formatting, and data validation. The paste special option gives you more control about what properties you're copying and pasting into a range of cells. To use one of the paste special options, click the Edit menu, navigate to Paste Special..., and select from the following options:
- Paste values only: Pastes only the text contained in the original range of cells.
- Paste format only: This option is identical to using the paint format tool -- it only copies cell formatting, and won't disrupt any existing text or formulas.
- Paste all except borders: Pastes all of these options without any cell borders that have been added.
- Paste formula only: Pastes the formulas contained in a copied range of cells, not the resulting calculations of the formulas.
- Paste data validation only: Pastes a data validation rule over a range of cells without disrupting any existing formatting, formulas or text.
- Paste conditional formatting only: This option only applies conditional formatting rules to a range of cells.
Paste special works only within a single spreadsheet. In other words, you can't copy cells from one spreadsheet and use paste special in a spreadsheet you have open in another tab.
Copy and paste using the web clipboard menu
There are a few specific cases in which the best way to copy and paste is using the web clipboard menu. When you copy a selection using this menu, the content you copy is stored and associated with your Google Account. That means you can copy more than one selection and then choose which one to paste later; it also allows you to copy something on one computer and then paste it on another. To copy a selection using the web clipboard menu, follow these steps:
- Select what you'd like to copy.
- Click the Edit menu and select Web clipboard.
- Click Copy selection to web clipboard.
- In the destination document, click the web clipboard menu; you'll see the selection that you previously copied. If you copied multiple things, you'll see a list of the items you've recently copied.
- Place the cursor where you want to paste the content.
- From the Edit menu, select Web clipboard.
- Select what you want to paste. Depending on your selection, you'll see different formats that you can choose from to paste what you've copied (for example, HTML or plain text).
- Select a format.
Copy and paste images and charts
To copy an image or chart in your spreadsheet, select what you'd like to copy, click the Edit menu, and click Copy. Then, to paste what you've copied, click the Edit menu again, select Web clipboard, and choose the item you'd like to paste.