Chromebook: Copy and Pasting Data on Google Sheets

By Mark LaFay

As you enter data into your spreadsheet on your Chromebook, you can avoid typing out repetitive text by using the Copy and Paste functions. Copying and pasting can be done in a couple ways — on the keyboard, with the touchpad, or a combination of both. To copy and paste a single cell, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell that you want to copy.

    If you would like to copy and paste a range of cells, you can do so by selecting the first cell in the range, holding the Shift key, then selecting the last cell in the range.

    The selection area will be highlighted in blue.

  2. Open the Edit menu and choose Copy.

    The selected cell’s contents will now be copied and stored in memory, also referred to as the Clipboard.

    The Clipboard can remember only one thing at a time. If you copy a selection of text and then copy another selection of text without pasting the first selection of text, Sheets forgets the first selection.

  3. Navigate to the cell where you would like to paste the copied data.

  4. Once again, open the Edit menu. This time, choose Paste.

    The data copied to the Clipboard is now pasted into the selected cell.

When copying and pasting large areas of data, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of space needed for the paste and inadvertently overwrite meaningful data. You can undo any past action by clicking the Undo button in the Edit toolbar. The Undo button looks like an arrow in the shape of a half circle pointing to the left.

If you need to paste the contents of one cell in a cell that’s several rows or columns away, you may find that the keyboard is too slow a means of navigating through your spreadsheet. Your touchpad offers a fast and convenient option to quickly copy and paste. To copy and paste a cell by using your touchpad, use the following steps:

  1. Using your touchpad, move your cursor to the cell you wish to copy.

  2. Click the desired cell once to select it.

    If you want to select a range of cells, click the first cell in the range and, without releasing your click, move to the other end of the range you wish to copy, and then release.

  3. Open the Edit menu and select Copy.

    The selected cell is copied to the Clipboard.

  4. Using your touchpad, scroll to the desired location and click on the desired cell.

    If you want to paste a range of cells, select the cell you wish to be the top-left corner of your pasted range.

  5. Open the Edit menu and choose Paste.

    The copied selection is pasted in.

To save time, you can use shortcut keys to copy and paste cells. Press Ctrl+C to copy a cell or cells, and press Ctrl+V to paste the copied cells. You can also quickly undo a paste (or many other actions) by pressing Ctrl+Z.

Alt-click your selection to reveal a menu of options, including Copy and Paste.