In Word, the natural unit to copy
is exactly that; a word. Due to the layout of a spreadsheet, the natural unit
is not a number, but instead it is a complete cell. So instead of copying a
value, you are copying a cell, complete with all its formatting and formulas.
As Excel formulas transpose from one location to another, this allows you to
copy a function across many rows of a spreadsheet. Even Excel experts benefit
from the speed at which you can edit a spreadsheet. However, it can also become
a great source of frustration to the beginner.
Imagine you've built a table and
spent a decent period of time applying borders. The data looks fantastic and
can be inserted into Powerpoint. Next month the data has changed and you wish
to copy it in from another source. If you use a basic Copy and Paste, you lose
the borders. You may also lose the font, you can lose the color, you can even
lose the text alignment. The whole reason for pasting data is that it saves
time and it could now end up costing you time.
The solution is to use the Paste
Special function. When you right-click on a destination within Excel, you will
this option appear on the dropdown menu. You will then be confronted with a
number of additional options. Let's say you want to copy just the values from
source to destination. In that case, you can select the Values option, hit OK,
and none of the formatting will change.