What is clipboard in Excel

Clipboard is a temporary memory where Operating Systems or applications store the data copied from the Operating System or from any application running inside Operating System. Here, the data can be a piece of text, a number, an image or a file (stored in Operating System’s File System).

Why you want to store temporarily any data content inside clipboard by copying it ? Later we may need to reuse that copied data inside clipboard by pasting it somewhere else. Hence, the clipboard feature facilitates Copy-Paste functionality.

Main point to note here is that Excel uses the Windows Operating System clipboard contents to fill Excel clipboard. The meaning is that, if you copy from the Operating System or any other application running in your Windows Operating System, that also will be added to Excel clipboard.

Normally (without using Excel clipboard feature), if you try to paste any copied content, Excel will paste the last item you had copied previously. But, Excel can keep up to 24 items in its clipboard. From Excel clipboard, you can paste any previous 24 items you had copied.

When you copy the 25th item, the oldest one of your 24 items in Excel clipboard will be deleted.

The name clipboard came from the real physical clipboard, because it stores data temporarily. Since the data in clipboard is temporary, the data contents stored in Excel clipboard (or Windows Operating System clipboard) will not survive a system reboot or a clipboard clear.



How to open Excel clipboard

To open Excel clipboard, Go to Home tab in Excel Ribbon, click the small down arrown on right-side of the Clipboard button, as shown in below image.

how to open excel clipboard

Excel clipboard is opened in the left-side of the worksheet, as you can see in below image. You can also see 10 clipboard items I had copied previously inside clipboard. We may reuse any of these ten items by pasting it inside worksheet when we need it later.

excel clipboard


How to paste contents from Excel clipboard to Cell

Now you may select the cell where you want to paste the content, and paste it there. To paste the content from the clipboard to a Cell, select the Cell where you want to paste the content from Excel clipboard. Now, click the drop-down arrow at right-side of the content you want to paste and select “Paste” to paste the content from clipboard, as shown below.

Note that, if you select a Cell and try to paste content from Excel clipboard, existing content in that Cell will be replaced by the content from Excel clipboard. If you want to paste the content from the clipboard to existing contents in any Cell, you have to change the Cell mode to Enter or Edit mode.

how to copy from excel clipboard

As you can see from below image, text content from Excel clipboard is copied to the Cell.

content from excel clipboard copied

Click the following link to learn How to clear Excel clipboard.

Written by Jajish Thomas.
Last updated on 27th January, 2022.


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