How to copy and paste only visible cells in Microsoft Excel

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You can hide columns, rows, or cells in Excel to make data entry or analysis easier. But when you copy and paste a cell range with hidden cells, they suddenly reappear, right?

You may not be aware of it, but there is a way to copy and paste only the visible cells in Microsoft Excel. It does not require more than a few clicks.

Default copy and paste with hidden cells in Excel

By default, when you copy a range of cells in Excel that contains hidden cells, the hidden cells appear when you paste.

As an example, we have hidden rows 3 through 12 (February to November) in the following screenshot.

Hidden rows in Excel

When we select the visible cell range, use the Copy action, and then paste, the hidden cells will appear.

Hidden rows appear by default when you insert

If this is not what you want, you can read about how to avoid it.

Copy only visible cells in Excel

This smart hidden feature is available in Microsoft Excel on both Windows and Mac. And luckily, it works exactly the same way.

Start by selecting the cells you want to copy and paste. Then go to the Home tab and click on the Find and Select drop-down list (magnifying glass). Select “Go to special”.

Click Find and select on the Home tab and select Go to Special

In the window that appears, select “Visible cells only” and click “OK”.

Select Visible Cells Only

When the cells are still selected, use the Copy action. You can press Ctrl + C on Windows, Command + C on Mac, right-click and select “Copy” or click “Copy” (two-page icon) on the ribbon on the Home tab.

Click Copy on the Home tab

Move now where you want to insert the cells and use the Insert action. You can press Ctrl + V on Windows, Command + V on Mac, right-click and select “Paste”, or click “Paste” on the ribbon on the Home tab.

Click Insert on the Home tab

You should then only see the visible cells from your cell selection inserted.

Only visible cells are inserted

If you frequently perform actions like this in Word, check out our guide to cutting, copying, and pasting in Microsoft Word.

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