How to skip pasting blank cells when copying in Microsoft Excel

When you paste data that you copied into Microsoft Excel, the content in the target cells is automatically overwritten. This may be by design in many cases, but probably not if the cells copied contain spaces.

With a few extra clicks you can paste into Microsoft. Skip spaces Excel. By including everything but blank cells, you can keep the data you already have and simply replace the rest.

How to mark spaces or errors in Microsoft Excel

How to skip blank cells when pasting Excel

To best illustrate how to skip spaces when inserting Excel, we use one example. On the left side of our sheet are the previous sales amounts and on the right side are the updated amounts. We need to replace the previous one with the updated one.

However, as you can see, the updated amounts contain spaces because these particular sales have not changed. We would therefore like to keep the existing amounts unchanged in these cases. We have highlighted a special one example in the screenshot below.

Highlighted cell ranges for copying and pasting Excel

When we copy and paste the updated range of cells, the spaces will overwrite our existing amounts. We can certainly copy and paste one cell at a time, or even several neighboring cells at a time. However, to avoid that extra work, we can copy and paste the entire area and replace everything but the spaces.

Select the cells you want to copy and either right click and choose Copy, or go to the Home tab and click Copy in the Clipboard section of the ribbon.

Right click and choose Copy

Select the destination cells that you want to paste the copied cells into. Either right click, choose Paste Special and choose Paste Special from the pop-up menu, or go to the Home tab, click Paste on the ribbon, and choose Paste Special.

Right click and choose Paste Special

When the Paste Special window opens, check the box below for Skip Spaces. You can adjust all of the other options in the Insert and Operation sections as needed. Click OK when you’re done.

Check the box to skip spaces

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You should then see that your copied cells have been pasted into their destination cells without the spaces overwriting the existing data.

Skipped spaces in inserted cells

The Paste Special option to skip spaces doesn’t only work with ranges of cells. You can also use it when inserting columns or rows that contain blank cells.

If you’re working with a table with hidden cells, read how to copy and paste only visible cells Excel.

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