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You may 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, don’t they?

You might not realize it, but there is a way to copy and paste only the visible cells in Microsoft Excel. It takes nothing more than a few clicks.

Default Copy and Paste With Hidden Cells in Excel

By default, when you copy a cell range in Excel that contains hidden cells, those hidden cells display when you paste.

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

Hidden rows in Excel

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

Hidden rows appear by default when you paste

If this isn’t what you want, read on for how to avoid it.

Copy Visible Cells Only in Excel

This nifty 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, head to the Home tab and click the Find & Select (magnifying glass) drop-down arrow. Choose “Go To Special.”

In the window that appears, pick “Visible Cells Only” and click “OK.”

Select Visible Cells Only

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

Now move where you want to paste the cells and use the Paste action. You can press Ctrl+V on Windows, Command+V on Mac, right-click and pick “Paste,” or click “Paste” in the ribbon on the Home tab.

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

Only visible cells are pasted

If you perform actions like this in Word often, be sure to check out our how-to for cutting, copying, and pasting in Microsoft Word.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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