How to Use the Office Clipboard to Copy Multiple Items in Excel

Copy and paste data between Excel worksheets or other programs

A woman working at laptop in an office.

Hero Images / Getty Images

The Office Clipboard is a handy tool used in Microsoft Excel and the other programs in the Microsoft Office suite. It lets users copy up to 24 items from Office documents or other programs and paste them into another Office document. This is much more helpful than the Windows Clipboard, which holds only the last item copied.

Here's a look at how to use and manage the Office Clipboard in Excel.

These instructions apply to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and Excel for Microsoft 365. The Office Clipboard is available only on Windows PCs.

How to Use and Manage the Office Clipboard

When you use the cut, copy, and paste commands in Excel and other Office programs, that data, including text and images, goes into the Office Clipboard, which retains up to 24 of your previous entries.

The Office Clipboard task pane lets you view the items in the Office Clipboard in the order in which they were copied. In Excel, access the Office Clipboard task pane by selecting Home and then choosing the Clipboard dialog box launcher.

The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel.

Copy and Paste Data From the Clipboard

If you have data, such as a list of names that you'll be entering repeatedly in the same order into a worksheet, using the Clipboard can simplify the task. Highlight the entire list in the worksheet, then press Ctrl + C. The list will be set as one entry in the Office Clipboard.

To paste information from the Office Clipboard into your spreadsheet:

  1. Select the cell in the worksheet where you want to paste the data.

  2. To paste items one at a time, in the Clipboard task pane, double-click each item that you want to paste. To paste all the items that you copied, in the Clipboard task pane, select Paste All.

    The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel with the Paste All button selected.

    A data series or list, when pasted into the worksheet, will retain the spacing and order of the original.

  3. Excel will paste each entry into a separate cell in a column starting with the active cell.

Clearing the Clipboard

If the Clipboard is full or you're doing some housekeeping, it's easy to delete items from the Office Clipboard individually, or all at the same time.

  1. Go to the Clipboard task pane.

  2. To clear one item, select the arrow next to the item you want to delete, and then select Delete.

    The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel with Delete option selected.
  3. To clear all the Clipboard's items, select Clear All.

    The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel with the Clear All button selected.
Was this page helpful?