How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

May 2017 update which keeps the copied item active in the clipboard

Regarding the issue of...It's part of the May 2017 update which keeps the copied item active in the clipboard even if you do things that would normally clear it, like typing in a cell, applying formatting, etc.

Pressing ESC will clear the marquee/dancing ants.

Why in the world would Microsoft and an extra step here. This is terrible. At least give us the option to turn off the function. Please change this back or give us the option. Very disappointed!

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    Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks to all that responded to the recent survey and to all that have taken the time to provide comments. We have read all of the feedback and we’re determining the best way to resolve the pain points that you have with the changes.

    Much of the feedback falls into these categories:

    Differences with VBA Macros – When we initially release the “Keep the Copy” functionality in May of last year, there were differences for copy operations in VBA Macros. In an August update last year we made a change such that the keep the clipboard functionality is disabled when VBA macros are running. If you are still experiencing differences for copy operations in macros compared to previous version of Excel we would like to know more about what you are seeing.

    Using Keyboard shortcuts to insert cells – Prior to the Keep the Copy functionality, the first insert operation after a copy would “Insert Copied Cells” and then subsequent insert operations would insert blank cells. We have heard your feedback in this area and are looking to resolve this such that insert operations via keyboard shortcuts behave like previous versions did.

    Insert Copied Cells on the context menu – Prior to the Keep the Copy functionality, after a copy then Insert Cells command on the context menu was replaced by Insert Copied Cells until after the first paste. With the Keep the Copy functionality both Insert Cells and Insert Copied Cells are on the context menu. It’s not clear from your feedback if the position of the commands on the menu is problematic (having Insert Copied Cells directly above Insert Cells) or if it is something else. Any additional clarifying feedback would be appreciated.

    Visual Clutter of Marquee – This is the topic that the recent survey was meant to understand further. Thank you for participating.

    No value in functionality – Pasting multiple times is not necessary and you would like to disable the functionality.

    We would appreciate any additional feedback that you can provide to help us to improve the feature.

    Thank you,
    Eric Patterson
    Microsoft Excel Program Manager

    207 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please keep the copy on the clipboard until I hit escape or copy something else. Do get rid of the blinking line around the original selection after first use though. One of the most frustrating things about Excel is its lack of consistency within the office suite for basic functions like copy/paste.

      • microsoft sucks commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey Idiots at Microsoft-

        How about fixing this and stop wasting everybody's time? Every one of your dopey updates makes your software suck more and more. Hopefully the Chinese or someone come up with a good knock off that totally infringes on your patents, they out sell you and you go out of business. You sure as **** are not going to keep users if any serious competitor comes forward.

      • keridwen cheetham commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        agree with the ability to turn insert last copied cells in as a 'preferences' option. The real annoyance is that it inserts your last copied info in as the default. Total waste of time having to undo. And really annoying when correcting erroneously copied cells being inserted causes excel to crash

      • Denise Rutledge commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I know I've commented already, but I had another thought. Could this be something that we can turn on or off in 'Preferences?' You can turn off Auto correct, so maybe you could add the option to turn copy and paste for multiple cells on or off.

      • Linda commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        was there a "SURVEY" sent out to users to ask whether it should be implemented??? why then do we have to waste more of our time to do a survey that may or may not result in a change back? I agree, time to find a new product... MS has forgotten that there are more users out there than the few that asked for this stupid feature.

        If there is something that will update ALL macro functions, WHY WOULD MS EVER IMPLEMENT without an opt-in function????? How many business users have had to change many macros or VB to account for this? Not logical, Microsoft!!!!!

      • Adam Holt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My primary concerns with this newer behavior in descending order of importance are: changes in the context menu, changes in clipboard behavior, and persistent marquee display.

        My preferred solution to this change would be complete reversion to previous behavior. If any of the changes are something that people actually wanted, then you can provide it as an option (default off).

        If, for some reason, you decide not to undo this change or add it as an option, then the next level of acceptability for me would be to place "Insert" above "Insert Copied Cells" in the context menu and remove the marquee display from copied cells after the first paste. As "Insert" is the default command in that location of the context menu, having it pushed down by "Insert Copied Cells" is not ideal.

        At the very least, editing a new cell should clear the clipboard/marquee.

        To reiterate what a lot of people in this thread have already stated: The biggest issue for me is NOT the marquee display (though it is annoying). My biggest complaint is that the clipboard and context menu behave differently than they have for as long as I can remember and this interrupts my workflow. I don't use copy/paste in macros very often, but now that I am aware that this can be an issue that is another concern.

        I appreciate that you're taking the time to address this issue and really hope that you consider all the feedback that you've received here.

      • Denise Rutledge commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I've finally gotten used to the esc key option, and I do find it can be handy to have the copy & paste function hang around. The real irritation about having to use the esc key is that I can't keep my hands on the home row on the keyboard. That interrupts productivity. In addition to the 'esc' option, consider adding a left double-click or a right-click menu option to exit the paste mode. I find I often use the mouse to move between cells when I'm pasting, so this would be very efficient.

      • Alexander KS commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        agreed w the below!!

        This survey does not address the issue whatsoever. The appearance of the marquee is not the problem at all. I doubt many care about the marquee color, transparency, etc.

        Please give the option to turn OFF the persistent clipboard feature. Better yet: Make it be off by default.

        Please add a toggle for this feature.

        A toggle is needed for this feature.

        This feature needs a toggle.

        A toggle for this feature is needed.

        This feature.... yeah, toggle it.

        In Excel options, add a checkbox (off by default):
        Keep copied cells on clipboard until Escape is pressed.

      • Glenn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Eric - maybe you can try to get your supervisor to read the comments. She/he might understand that the survey is ill-conceived and totally misdirected, doing nothing to address the real issue. The survey feels like you're trying not to hurt some GUI designer's feelings.

        Somebody who can actually make a difference should take the time to understand what all of this legitimate fuss (anger, disgust...) is all about. It ain't the marquee.

      • Jude Johnson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This survey does not address the issue whatsoever. The appearance of the marquee is not the problem at all. I doubt many care about the marquee color, transparency, etc.

        Please give the option to turn OFF the persistent clipboard feature. Better yet: Make it be off by default.

        As many have stated, the marquee is not visible when the sheet is scrolled or when viewing a different workbook. Even with a persistent visual indicator, this feature would be a continuous nuisance. Again: Appearance is not the problem. Please read the comments in this thread.

        Yes - we can likely eventually get used to it. But why add more work? In the meantime, many of us must spend hours or days rewriting vba code.
        Datasets will continue to be ruined any time we forget there is an additional step we must take to prevent what feels almost like sabotage.

        Please add a toggle for this feature.

        A toggle is needed for this feature.

        This feature needs a toggle.

        A toggle for this feature is needed.

        This feature.... yeah, toggle it.

        In Excel options, add a checkbox (off by default):
        Keep copied cells on clipboard until Escape is pressed.

      • C Cates commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with the last comment. The survey is pointless and does not address the actual issues that people have with this feature. If you give us what we have asked for it is a way to turn off the feature that keeps the copied region in the clipboard after the initial paste. Then the silly questions about how transparent the marquee around the copied region is becomes completely irrelevant. Many times I am pasting into another tab or worksheet, which means I can no longer see the marquee, and I might not go back to that tab or worksheet for a while.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I just did the survey which I found seriously depressing. Have you actually read the comments in this thread?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        "based on long term requests from you"?????? You can't be serious! Nobody asked me my opinion and if some misguided minority thought this was a good idea to have as default behaviour, why did you have to force it on everybody else. This is bad enough for me as a previously loyal supporter of Microsoft to want to start looking for credible alternatives. I'll participate in your survey but whatever the result is, it's hard to see how it could be representative of majority opinion in your enormous user base given that so just stumbled across it on this thread. Even if the survey suggests this was a good idea it won't make it right that this stupid feature can't be turned off.

      • Glenn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Todd H nails it - it's not about appearance, it's about functionality, and the change of functionality is killing us. The survey is blind to the substance of the conversation thus far, and is indicative of the prevalence at MS of form over function these past few years. Count me among the macro-writers pulling our collective hair out over this feature that never should have seen the light of day as a force-fed "improvement".
        It's also not about inability to accept change- we've dealt with deprecated functions and features, and the general Fisher-Pricing of things for years; this is first and foremost an issue of function being tinkered with to negative effect, a solution that simply creates a problem worse than the supposed problem it was intended to solve.
        What to do?
        As suggested by Adam H and C Cates and others, make persistence a toggle, and make it an Opt-In one, to serve those people who don't realize that you can continue to paste, and paste, and paste already, but that want the dancing ants ("Marquee" in design-speak) and the ability to paste things they'd forgotten were in the clipboard.
        Please.
        Please.

      • Todd Hutchison commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Based on this survey, I don't think you still understand what the is aggravating to most people. If I copy and paste something then work for another 4 hours on a spreadsheet never pasting anything again, totally forgetting that I have even copied something 4 hours previously in a totally different section of the file, now I need to insert a row of blank cells. I click on the left most column to highlight the row, click on the "insert cells" button and that one cell that I copied 4 hours earlier now populates across the entire row or rows or multiple cells, because god forbid, if I copied multiple cells 4 hours earlier, because they will all be inserted into my spreadsheet. Somethimes it is as easy as undoing the insert, but sometimes, I will do an insert expecting that I just inserted a cell and keep moving only to find out a few keystrokes later that something was copied into the spreadsheet versus a simple insert of a blank cell or cells. One simple step would be to change the default from "insert copied cells" to "insert blank cells" on the insert cells button. That would go a long way to relieving my concerns, although it may not solve the problem for people using macros

      • Adam Holt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @C Cates This seems to be the most sensible solution. There may have been people requesting a persistent clipboard, but I was not one of them and from the comments on this post it appears I am not alone in my annoyance. If there are people who want this feature, then provide it to them as an option. To me it seems like the solution to a problem that didn't exist.

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