Copy & Paste Issue

Jon Hall
Occasional Contributor

Copy & Paste Issue

I'm not very tech savvy, but I've been using Excel on a daily basis, for many years. All of a sudden, when I copy an item that is centered, it comes out all the way to the left when I paste it.


I assume I must have inadvertantly hit some setting to change this feature, but I can't find my way back. Can anyone please help?

11 Replies

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Dear Jon Hall,

Kindly try pasting as values (Paste Special > Values) and check if your issue gets resolved.

What is the alignment of the cell from which you are copying the data and

the alignment of the cell to which you are pasting the data?


Vijaykumar Shetye,

Spreadsheet Excellence,

Panaji, Goa, India


Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Hi Jon,


For my knowledge Excel has no setting to change default Copy/Paste behaviour (in opposite, for example, to Word) - it always transfers values with cell formatting.


Did I understand correctly you use simple Copy/Paste (main icons; or Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V; or Ctrl+Ins/Shift+Ins), without applying Paste Special from supporting submenu (e.g. Ctrl+arrow keys after you pasted the value)?


And you copy/paste within one sheet or between different files?




Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Thank you both for responding to my problem. Unfortunately, my issue remains unresolved. I tried going to "Paste Special", but as I noted, I’m fairly tech illiterate, and I couldn't find anything that helped.

In answer to the questions, Sergei, I have always simple copied the data that I wished to enter into my spread sheets from one area to another. I never needed any special actions. The original items were copied in the central position of a cell, but suddenly now, no matter what I do, it gets copied in the extreme left position. My actions are related to record-keeping for baseball. I like to keep my own files, and there are numerous things that I keep on my clipboard as they come up with great frequency. Now, when I go to paste a win or loss, a date or a players name, which I have held in reserve on my clipboard, instead of pasting in it’s original position (centered) it comes out all-the-way to the left.

It's not the end of the world. I just have to go back, when I’m done, and re-align my data. But it is annoying, and as I stated, I’ve been using Excel for many years and never had this issue before. Again, thank you for responding.

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Hi Jon,


Could you please clarify from where are your original data - do you copy/paste them from web or other external source; or you enter them manually?

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

I do it manually.

For instance, I pre-load symbols for wins (W) and losses (L) or run totals (O or U) or abbreviations to represent various teams (NYY for the Yankees, for instance). I have always been able to insert these symbols at will. But I copy them from a centered position in the cell, but as of a couple of days ago, the pasted data comes out in the extreme left position.

Now something I should state, if I copy, or cut something and directly paste it, it's ok (it comes out in the original position. It works properly for one operation.But as soon as I attempt to save it, so that I can use it repeatedly from the clipboard, it goes back to pasting in the left. Very frustrating.

But I really appreciate your taking the time to address my problem. Thanks again

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Hi Jon,


Sorry, but i still didn't catch, let me repeat in a bit another wording


1) You have an abbreviation in one cell (NYY), that's the only text in this cell, and this text is placed in the center of the cell

2) You stay on this cell, click Copy, go to another cell, click Paste, your NYY appears centered in this cell. 3) You may repeat that with other cells sequentally (stay on another cell, click Paste, when one more, ...) - NYY will be centered in the cells you pasted it




After that you attempt to save - to save what, what exactly do you do here?

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

I'll try to explain better. I use many symbols or abbreviations with frequency. So I'll copy ,for instance, NYY to my clipboard. When I first use it, before actually saving it, it repeats in the position (centered) that I copied it. But once I attempt to use it a second time, either from the clipboard, or just by repeat pasting it using the right-click on my mouse, or the paste function in Excel, it comes out off-center, usually to the extreme left in the cell.

I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear, but I hope so.

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

I realize I didn't quite answer the last part of your response. When I say I'm saving something I'm referring to saving whatever it is to my clipboard, so that I can go back to it whenever I need that particular symbol. Does that make sense?

Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Hi Jon,


Thank you, now i reproduced it. If paste from the clipboard Excel keeps formatting of the text, but ignores cell alignments formatting. Moreover, if paste from the clipboard range of cells, Excel misses empty cells.



What's intresting, if i paste from the same clipboard to Word it keeps formatting correctly



So far i have no idea what's the reason, but will try to investigate. And repeated above if someone else from the community knows.


Jon, one more question - as i remember you said above effect appeared on your machine only recently. If so, do you remember if you installed any updates, or new applications; not necessary related to the office.  


Re: Copy & Paste Issue


No, that's what's so odd. I've been using Excel for yearsand as far as I 'm aware, nothing has changed, as far as updates. But perhaps I missed something. Maybe I'll try to go to a Restore Point.


Re: Copy & Paste Issue

Hi Jon,


Yes, you may try restore point, if it's not so far you lost practically nothing. Or try to repair your Office, especially if that's O365 - quite safe operation.


Could help, could not. The problem is Office clipboard behaviour depend on not only Office application (Excel in our case) and its settings, but on entire environment of your PC. Office clipboard is directly connected to system clipboard which is used by all other applications.


On forums i've seen cases of wrong Office clipboard behaviour (not exactly as in your cases, but simular ones) due to new version of Skype, or Adobe Flash Player, or some else were installed. That could be due to another Win or Office update. I don't know the reason so far.


Anyway, it's worth to repair/restore if you have such option, that could help. You lost nothing but some time. Just be ready that could not solve the issue and you return back to current situation with next update of your OS/applications.