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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.

74 comments

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  • UweHa commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    You caused an annoying problem with the "fixing" of Jamie8848's suggestion:
    https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/304921-excel-for-windows-desktop-application/suggestions/32069662-excel-2016-blocks-the-clipboard-for-external-conte

    When do you fix this mess?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    When do you fix this mess?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    When do you fix this mess?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    When do you fix this mess?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
    When do you fix this mess?
    ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • kent schonert commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please make this optional. I am doing everything at work I can to roll back to a version of office that does not have this "feature".

  • UweC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To cite my predecessor: YES.
    Jamie8848 surely meant to to keep the copied data inside Excel while doing other stuff INSIDE Excel.
    And surely only until copying something else.
    And surely not blocking copied content from Word, Browser or elsewhere from insertion into Excel.
    Could I be right?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I AGREE. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN MADE OPTIONAL. NOT EVERYONE NEEDS THIS EVERY TIME. I LIKED IT THE WAY IT WAS.

  • Excel Help commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I literally just suggested this in a comment on a related thread, someone wanting the marquee to go away without having to press Esc. I was extremely pleased to see on the blog and here that the functionality has been added (bringing the copy+paste behavior up to the Google sheets standard). Thank you so much for listening!

    And yet, I empathize with the users who are not thrilled with this change. Old habits die hard, and my habits happened to be formed using other, more efficiency-friendly software. But for anyone who has shaped their workflow around Excel's nonsense for years or decades, I understand how this becomes a nuisance. New functionality and features should always be added in as an option in the settings. Only then will Excel live up to being the "powerful" tool it's described as.

  • Oz du Soleil commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This feature seems like an example to not just pay attention to the features we want but also to stop the ones we don't want. :)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How do I turn this feature off at source?
    I end up with multiple pastes & multiple insert pastes I do not want

  • A FAST user despite Microsoft's efforts to quell such commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    That said, YES it should have been made an option. For some apps that rely on the legacy behavior, where CutCopyMode can be depended upon to go False, code will now break.

    But making changes optional is generally punishable by death at Microsoft. If you don't like it, you're missing the point: Microsoft knows what is good for the user better than the user knows. And that is considered the word of God.

    So if you think you're going to get an options setting to toggle this according to your own most productive use - you did too much LDS back in the 60s. (sic)

  • A FAST user despite Microsoft's efforts to quell such commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    First time in planetary history that Microsoft responded to feedback. Someone at Microsoft is going to be reassigned to the Siberian front for such insolence.

    I'm not being facetious on the primary point. Microsoft ONLY makes improvements when internally reasoned as beneficial (even when they claim a self-fulfilling public survey supports it). Of course, the problem with that is that the interface designers devastatingly err in their perception of how users work. Instead, they break things which aren't broken, because of some ********'s glitzy proposal that looks and sounds so cool or futuristic or more advanced.

    Thus quite, quite, quite often, these internally-driven "improvements" are devastating, and no amount of customer outrage will sway them. None. They'll just counter the horrified disgust with anonymous shills' rhetoric, and officially remain silent and fully ignoring the avalanche of damage and hate, until users are worn down until submission. Case in point: the cataclysmically deproductive ribbon, where the users were worn down to giving up resistance. Deproductivity won.

    But **** froze over this one time, and Microsoft very simply fixed something that REALLY WAS broken, after years (actually decades) of fuming complaints. The cow has jumped over the moon. This is huge. For a minute, that is. Until the designer responsible for this is punished and rendered unable to ever repeat such a feat, because that ain't how things are done at Microsoft.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Seems like this needs to be made an option. Not forced upon everyone and adding additional, unnecessary keystrokes.

  • Andrew Hunter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Is there keyboard shortcut to insert newlines when you have some data stored in your clipboard? Before this change in clipboard's behaviour, inserting new lines after a "copy / insert copied cells" operation was pretty much safe (because clipboard was cleaned after CTRL+ was pressed the first time).
    Now you MUST remember to click ESC after having inserted copied cells and pressing again CTRL+, otherwise you'll paste millions of unwanted cells.
    So, what's the best way to insert (empty) new lines in a sheet when you have something stored in your clipboard, using just your keyboard?

  • Leigh commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Seumas - Myself and others (Sharon & Shawn below) have experienced the Ants Marching, that won't go away. If I copy a section, paste it somewhere, then move to another cell to edit, my ants are still marching around my original copy selection. I must hit ESC to get the Ants to stop. I understand, that the ants are just indicating what is on the clipboard - but this feature should have a toggle (so we can turn it off)

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