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Change Numbers With Paste Special

Use the Paste Special command to automatically add, divide or multiply specific amounts to numbers on a worksheet

Introduction

Without using formulas, you can add, subtract, multiply or divide all the numbers in a range by a specific amount. For example, in a price list, all the prices could be increased by $1.50, or the prices could be decreased by 5%.

This makes it easy to change the amounts on a worksheet, all at once, by using the Paste Special command on the Excel Ribbon. Just type a value into a cell, then copy that cell, and apply its value to other cells.

NOTE: This technique overwrites the original numbers, so be sure to make a backup copy of your file, before changing the numbers with Paste Special.

Thanks to T. Valko for suggesting this page!

Increase Numbers With Paste Special

Watch this short video to see the steps for adding or multiplying with Paste Special. Written instructions are below the video.

Add Amount to Selected Numbers

You may want to increase all the numbers in a range by a set amount. For example, in this price list, all the prices should be increased by $1.50. The following technique makes it easy to increase the prices, all at once.

  1. In a blank cell, enter the amount of the increase. In this example, 1.50 was entered in cell D2

    enter the amount of the increase

  2. Copy the cell which contains the increase amount.
  3. Select the cells which contain the amounts that you want to increase.
    • Here, cells B2:B5 are selected.
  4. Right-click one of the selected cells, and click Paste Special
  5. Optional - In the Paste section, click Values, if you don't want to copy the formatting from the copied cell (D2)
  6. In the Operation section, click Add, then click OK.
    • Click Values, and click Add

On the worksheet, each of the selected numbers is automatically increased by $1.50

Multiply Numbers by a Percentage

You may want to increase all the numbers in a range by a set percentage. For example, in this price list, all the prices should be increased by 5%. The following technique makes it easy to increase the prices, all at once.

  1. In a blank cell, enter the amount of the increase. In this example, 1.05 was entered in cell D8
  2. Copy the cell which contains the increase amount.
  3. Select the cells which contain the amounts that you want to increase. Here, cells B8:B11 are selected.

    Select the cells which contain the amounts that you want to increase

  4. On the menu bar, click Edit | Paste Special
  5. Click Values, and click Multiply, then click OK.
  6. Each of the selected numbers is automatically increased by 5%

Subtract Amount from Numbers

You may want to decrease all the numbers in a range by a set amount. For example, in this price list, all the prices should be reduces by $1.25. The following technique makes it easy to decrease the prices, all at once.

  • In a blank cell, enter the amount of the decrease. In this example, 1.25 was entered in cell D3
    • enter the amount of the decrease
  • Copy the cell that has the decrease amount.
  • Select the cells that have the amounts you want to decrease.
    • Here, cells B2:B5 are selected.
  • Right-click one of the selected cells, and click Paste Special
  • Optional - In the Paste section, click Values, if you don't want to copy the formatting from the copied cell (D3)
  • In the Operation section, click Subtract, then click OK.
    • enter the amount of the decrease

On the worksheet, each of the selected numbers is automatically decreased by $1.25

Divide Numbers With Paste Special

Watch this short video to see the steps for dividing numbers with the Paste Special command. Written instructions are below the video.

Divide Numbers With Paste Special

Without using formulas, you can quickly divide a set of numbers, by using the Paste Special command. In this example, numbers are divided by 1000, and the result is a permanent change to the numbers.

  1. In a blank cell, enter the amount by which you want to divide. In this example, 1000 was entered in cell F3
  2. Copy the cell which contains the division amount.
  3. Select the cells which contain the amounts that you want to divide. In the screen shot below, cells C2:C11 are selected.
  4. On the Ribbon's Home tab, click the arrow on the Paste button, then click Paste Special

    click Paste Special

  5. In the Options section, click Divide, then click OK.
  6. Each of the selected numbers is automatically divided by 1000.
  7. To complete the change, you can format the numbers, if necessary, and delete the amount typed in cell F3.

Get the Sample File

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Last updated: March 4, 2021 7:23 PM
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