How to Copy and Paste Columns in Excel

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Working with spreadsheets has become part of our day-to-day office activities. We are often required to copy and paste certain data from one cell to another. In some cases, we have to copy a column and paste its contents in another column. In this post, we shall learn how copy and paste columns.

Using keyboard shortcut to copy and paste

MS Excel has a number of ways through which we can transfer data from one column to another. One among them is the use of keyboard shortcut to copy and paste a column.

Procedure of how to copy multiple cells using keyboard shortcut

We can copy and paste column data using the procedure below;

Step 1: highlight the column or cells you want to copy and paste

If we are to transfer the data in an entire column, we have to first highlight it. We highlight by simply clicking at the top of the column that we want to copy. This will highlight the entire column.

Figure 1: Highlighting the column to copy paste

Step 2: Press Ctrl + C to copy column

After highlighting the column we want to copy and paste, the next thing to do is to press Ctrl + C buttons on the keyboard. This shortcut will copy the cells in the column. After copying, we now have to paste the data in a different column.

Step 3: Press Ctrl + V to paste

Before we paste the data in a column, we first have to highlight it as well. Remember that the copied data is held in the Excel clipboard, so it can easily be pasted in another column. After highlighting the column that we want to paste, we have to press Ctrl + V on the keyboard. This will paste the data into the column.

How to copy paste multiple cells

Apart from copying and pasting entire column, we might also be required to copy and paste multiple cells without having to transfer the data of the whole column. To do this, we need to highlight the cells that we want to copy and paste their contents.

To copy individual cells, we need to highlight the cells by clicking on them while holding the Ctrl button.

Figure 2: Highlighting individual cells

After highlighting the cells that we want to copy and paste, the next thing will be to use Ctrl + C to copy them. Go to the column where we want to paste the data, highlight the cells and press Ctrl + V to paste the data.

We can also copy and paste a column by highlighting it through selecting any cell in the column, press Ctrl key then hit Spacebar. After highlighting, we then have to right-click anywhere within the highlighted column, and choose Copy.

Figure 3: Select Copy from pop-up menu

The next thing will be to highlight the column in which we want to paste the contents, right-click anywhere within the column and choose Paste.

Figure 4: Select Paste from the menu.