Course summary: Top tips for working in Excel Online

Note: Excel Online was formerly known as Excel Web App.

Copy and Paste in Excel Online

A simple thing like copy and paste might have you flummoxed in a browser-based program. You can copy and paste text, but only if you use keyboard shortcuts. And text you copied outside of Excel Online will probably be pasted as plain text, which means that formatting (things like bold, italics, and hyperlinks) needs to be re-applied. For best results, use keyboard shortcuts, not the right-click menu or Clipboard commands in Excel Online. Press CTRL+C to copy, CTRL+X to cut, or CTRL+V to paste the text (Windows); or press ⌘+C, ⌘+X, or ⌘+V (Mac). If paste isn’t working, you’re probably looking at Reading view. Switch to Editing view: Go to Edit Workbook > Edit in Excel Online.

Reapply formatting

To reapply text formatting like bold or italics, select the text you pasted, click Home, and then click the formatting you want. If you’re pasting a hyperlink, you’ll have to reconstruct it:

  1. Right-click the cell, and then click Hyperlink.

  2. In the Display Text box, type text you want to show in the cell.

  3. In the URL box, type the web address of the link (URL).

Format numbers

When you type numbers in your worksheet, Excel Online automatically applies the General number format but you can change this to show specific number formats like dates, currency, or even fractions.

For example, if you’re working on your quarterly budget, you can use the Currency number format to show your numbers as monetary values. You can set dates to display either as a long date like Saturday, December 14, 2013 or a short date 12/14/13. Here’s how:

  1. Select the column, or cells you want to format.

  2. Click Number Format and pick the format you want.

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