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

Maintain copied data on the clipboard even if the "dancing ants" aren't shown around the copied range (Copy-paste clipboard persistence)

If I copy [ctrl-c] a cell, then type in another cell, then try pasting, no result. No paste. It would be nice if Excel would maintain the copied data on the clipboard even after the dancing ants no longer appeared, so that I could paste that data.

(2015-11-05 Dan [MS] - updated idea title and description to be clearer)

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Jamie8848 shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Starting with the Excel release available in June, Excel “Keeps” your copy longer. You can Copy your cells, and before you paste, you can still do other tasks like typing or inserting cells.

Based on customer feedback, the dotted “Marquee” stay active for much longer so that you can type, add formatting or many other things before the paste operation. We also made both the “Insert” and “Insert Copied Cells” commands available after the copy operation. Now, if you are copying data to another worksheet, only to realize you need more room, you can insert a variable number of cells and then paste without having to re-copy the original range!

If you want the Marquee to disappear, you can use the ENTER key to perform the paste operation, or after the paste, you can press the ESC key to cancel the copy.


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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Soooooooo, is this an old thread? Has this issue been fixed? I'm pulling my hair out with same problem now. Is there anything with the same functionality as excel but better? Tired of f......king around -

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    After looking through the forums and external, I think I will have to give up and uninstall office 365 so I can get Excel 2013 installed again..

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is Still a bug in Office 365 - I can not copy over the contents of the Excel clipboard from an external program to paste into excel without clicking esc every time!! EVERY GOD D@#^3) Time!!!! PLEASE! The feature is good, but the implemenetaion is flawed.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is Still a bug in Office 365 - I can not copy over the contents of the Excel clipboard from an external program to paste into excel without clicking esc every time!! EVERY GOD D@#^3) Time!!!! PLEASE! The feature is good, but the implementation is flawed.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a terrible "feature". This is short-sighted in that it expects you to work only in Excel. If I copy something in Excel and then do what I want with it (e.g., paste somewhere else) that works fine. If however I then copy something else from another program (e.g., maybe from Word), it does not directly paste into Excel because you're "keeping the copy". I understand the workaround but strongly prefer the "old" behavior. Please note also that my edits may have caused the range with the "dancing ants" to no longer be visible so there's no indication that Excel is indeed still keeping the copy.

    I believe I understand the intention but do suggest that if you copy something, then before pasting it realize that you want to apply formatting somewhere else, well I suggest you've got bigger workflow problems than this feature can really help you with. This "benefit" does not outweigh the fact that I can't copy from other applications as was previously possible.

    Pressing Esc is also a terrible solution because although it will indeed "clear the copy" in Excel, it will also clear the item I've just copied from the other application. This means I have to go back to the other application and copy it again. This is poorly conceived.

  • Rob W. commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In Microsoft Excel 2016 (16.0.4639.1000) 32-bit, I'm not seeing this fix - hopefully will in the future. Any edit in Excel instantly clears the clipboard - that's dumb; I don't know any other application that works that way!

    Also, the Office clipboard is broken -after adding multiple items, clicking on any of them will paste only the last one. However, it is is workaround to the issue under discussion, albeit a cumbersome one. . .

  • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think I totally misunderstood these comments. Why does anyone ever want to clear the clipboard? The next copy will overwrite it. What is frustrating is when I copy a column, insert a new column to put the data in and find that Excel has erased my clipboard, while I was inserting a column.

  • John McCallum commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This was NOT "completed," or was only done so in a haphazard manner. Excel continues to eat clipboard data. I have Office 365 with the latest updates (October 2018)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


  • Dave commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I HATE THIS. Why can't the info stay on the clipboard and have a different notification (THAT DOES NOT ILLUMINATE ON THE SPREADSHEET) If that is too complicated give me the option to remove that feature!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I HATE this feature. Seriously, just because a few people want to keep their copies, it is preemptive to roll out a feature that effects every user without the option to disable it. I don't want to hit esc everytime I copy and I use the keyboard shortcuts all day long.

    PLEASE remove this option, or allow users to customize their applications. I have used Excel for 20+ years, and I am super annoyed.

  • SEUMAS MACLAREN commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Great news. Thank you Excel team. But we need to make this optional in the Tools OPTIONS menu of settings. I think the main problem now is user acceptance.. once again!
    We need some good publicity on it. I think this would be IDEALLY offered as news items for optional viewing, when, for example, logging in to Office, or simply starting Excel. A lot of old office software such as Publisher use to have the most useful tips and reminders available which one could review at will. Let's get the acceptance up. Next job: Fix the workbook shared paste buffer problem.

  • Marilyn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with other comments here, the copy & paste functions have become a nightmare. You have to hit "escape" multiple times to clear the clipboard of something you no longer need to paste. This is extremely frustrating when you're working in Excel all day.
    If you have multiple excel files open it's even worse because now it seems to think you're still in the file you copied from, when you're not, and it won't let you do ANYTHING as long as it's holding the copied items.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is horrible, I'm pulling my hair every 5 minutes, when adding a row or a column takes forever, because excel wants to paste something I have copied an hour ago. This makes using excel totally frustrating, as I have to start pressing esc all the time. And FYI, using ENTER as a pasting method does not work if you want to use some special paste, so that's next to nothing for "real" excel users. I also hated the fact that I used 15 minutes to go through options to find how to turn this off (because OF COURSE it must be possible to turn of this kind of idiotic function) and then another 30 minutes to google around just to find out I should really start testing if I could do my work with google sheets just because this kind of stupid "fixes" make using excel inconvenient and frustrating. I am so angry. Almost as angry as I found that importing text from csv with import wizard had been "hidden" and was extremely hard to find.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I hate this. I have to continually hit the "ESC" key after every copy/paste to avoid messing up the spreadsheet when I insert columns or cells. Why can't this be an option?

  • Bianca commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How can I remove these dancing ants altogether as well remove the "Insert copied cells" on the right click pop up menu. It is just too disconcerting. I keep thinking the "copy" action did not work and hesitate between the "Insert copied cells" and "Insert" functions. Having the visual onslaught of these irritating ants and then having to "Escape" each time makes me really mad. I get even madder when I use the wrong option #$%^&*(%$ and mess up my worksheet. Perhaps some people need and even desire this but it should definitely be turn-offable . How?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    OK I am so happy that I do not have to use the Escape button after every copy and paste in Excel. Instead of using copy paste, use copy enter. Yay!!!

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    You can work around this by writing a short macro in VB on your personal.xlsb file and setting it to Ctrl+v:

    Sub Paste_Macro()
    On Error Resume Next
    Application.cutcopymode = false
    End Sub

    Not perfect but means that ctrl+v or pressing enter can only be done once.

    Happy XL'ing.

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