Copy and paste text and images

You can copy and paste text and images between your files – even if you're going from one type of file to another.

Use the right-click menu or keyboard shortcuts

You might be able to copy and paste with the right-click menu, but for security reasons, most browsers don't allow web apps (like Docs, Sheets and Slides) to use your computer's clipboard through menus.

If you use Chrome

To copy and paste, use the right-click menu or select 'Copy' or 'Paste' from the Edit menu in the toolbar.

If you use a different browser

To copy and paste, you can use keyboard shortcuts:

  • PC: Ctrl + C for Copy, Ctrl + X for Cut and Ctrl + V for Paste.
  • Mac: ⌘ + C for Copy, ⌘ + X for Cut and ⌘ + V for Paste.

More paste options

Copy and paste charts
  1. On your computer, open a chart in Google Sheets.
  2. At the top-right corner of the chart, click More More.
  3. Click Copy chart.
  4. To paste the chart, click Edit and then Paste. If you are pasting outside of the spreadsheet, you will be asked whether or not to link the data to the copied chart.
Copy text formatting (paint format)

You can copy the formatting of text, cells or an object with the paint format tool.

  1. On your computer, open a Google Docs, Sheets or Slides file.
  2. Select the text, range of cells or object that you want to copy the format of.
  3. In the toolbar, click Paint format Paint format. Your cursor icon will change to show that you're in paint format mode.
  4. Select what you want to paste the formatting onto.
  5. The formatting will change to be the same as the formatting that you copied.

Tip: To paste the formatting in multiple places, double-click Paint format Paint format. When you've finished, click Paint format Paint format .

Keyboard shortcuts

To copy the formatting of selected text:

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + C (Windows or Chrome OS) or ⌘ + Option + C (Mac).

To apply the formatting that you copied to a different text selection:

  • Press Ctrl + Alt + V (Windows or Chrome OS) or ⌘ + Option + V (Mac).
Use paste special in a spreadsheet

You can use paste special to decide which formatting gets copied when copying cells.

Paste special works only within a single spreadsheet. You can't copy cells from one spreadsheet and use paste special in a spreadsheet open in another tab.

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Copy the data that you want to paste and put your cursor in the cell that you want to paste into.
  3. Click Edit and then Paste special.
  4. Choose from the following:
    • Paste values only: Pastes only the text from 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 change existing text or formulas.
    • Paste all except borders: Pastes everything except cell borders.
    • Paste column widths only: Resizes the selected columns to match the original. 
    • 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 changing existing formatting, formulas or text.
    • Paste conditional formatting only: Only applies conditional formatting rules to a range of cells.
    • Paste transposed: Pastes a rotated version of the copied cells. For example, if you copy a column of cells and use paste transpose, it will paste them into a row and vice versa.

Choose a format after pasting content

You can format the content after you paste it.

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. In a spreadsheet, copy the content that you want to paste.
  3. Paste the content into the same spreadsheet.
  4. By default, the original formatting of the content will stay the same. To change the formatting, click Paste Paste.
  5. Choose an option:
    • Paste values only: Only pastes 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 change existing text or formulas.
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