Use Office Clipboard to Copy Multiple Items in Excel

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The Office Clipboard in Excel and the other programs in Microsoft Office expands the capabilities of the regular system clipboard. While the Windows Clipboard holds only the last item copied, the Office Clipboard holds a longer history of data and offers greater flexibility.

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

How to Use and Manage the Office Clipboard

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

The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel.

You can view the items in the Office Clipboard in the order in which they were copied in the Office Clipboard task pane.

To open the Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel, click the Home tab of the ribbon. Then click the Clipboard dialog box launcher.

Copying and Adding Data From the Clipboard

If you have a series of data, such as a list of names that you will be entering repeatedly in the same order into a worksheet, using the clipboard can simplify entering the list.

All you need to to is highlight the entire list in the worksheet. Then Press the Ctrl + C keys on the keyboard and the list will be set as one entry in the Office Clipboard.

  1. Once you are ready to paste information from the Office clipboard into your spreadsheet, click the cell in the worksheet where you want to put the data.

  2. Click on the desired entry in the clipboard viewer to add it to the active cell.

  3. In the case of a data series or list, when pasted into the worksheet, it will retain the spacing and order of the original.

    The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel with the Paste All button selected.
  4. If you wish to add all entries to the worksheet, click the Paste All button at the top of the ​clipboard viewer.

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

Clearing the Clipboard

When the clipboard is full, it overwrites the oldest entries first. However, sometimes, you'll get an alert that the clipboard is full and your last copy command didn't process. In that case, you'll want to clear all the entries or delete those that you no longer need.

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

The most straightforward way to clear the Office clipboard is by clicking on the Clear All button located on the Office Clipboard task pane. When you clear the Office Clipboard that resets the system Clipboard too.

The Office Clipboard task pane in Microsoft Excel with Delete option selected.

To delete individual items, hover next to the clip you want to delete. Then click the arrow to its right, and select Delete.

Exiting all Microsoft Office programs also clears the Office Clipboard, but leaves the system Clipboard active. However, since the system Clipboard holds only one entry at a time, it retains only the last item you copied.