Excel 2010: Real-World Projects
Illustration by Neil Webb

Pasting data and formatting with precision


From:

Excel 2010: Real-World Projects

with Curt Frye

Video: Pasting data and formatting with precision

Petal Jones received a note from a regional sales representative indicating that hydrangeas were selling very well for another mail order company. Hansel and Petal doesn't currently offer hydrangeas by mail order, so we're pulling the sales rep's data into a workbook for analysis. The first thing we'll do is copy the data from the other workbook into this NewProductReports workbook. So we're just going over here and I will copy the headers, press Ctrl+C, shift back to the other workbook and now I can paste in what I have just copied.

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Watch the Online Video Course Excel 2010: Real-World Projects
25m 0s Appropriate for all Jan 21, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Excel 2010: Real-World Projects, author Curt Frye demonstrates five important new features in Excel 2010. Using real-world examples, Curt shows how Excel 2010 will be a beneficial upgrade for all users. He highlights the improvements in PivotTables and the visual presentation of data. The release of this important business application will give users a number of new ways to review and present information. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Using Sparklines to summarize business performance
  • Customizing the Excel 2010 user interface
  • Pasting data and formatting with precision
  • Analyzing data with improved PivotTable capabilities
Subject:
Business
Software:
Excel
Author:
Curt Frye

Pasting data and formatting with precision

Petal Jones received a note from a regional sales representative indicating that hydrangeas were selling very well for another mail order company. Hansel and Petal doesn't currently offer hydrangeas by mail order, so we're pulling the sales rep's data into a workbook for analysis. The first thing we'll do is copy the data from the other workbook into this NewProductReports workbook. So we're just going over here and I will copy the headers, press Ctrl+C, shift back to the other workbook and now I can paste in what I have just copied.

In previous versions of Excel, we would've had to try a bunch of different paste options to see which one we wanted. But instead, in Excel 2010, we can use what's called Paste Preview or Paste Live Preview. To do that, we click the Down Arrow of the Paste button on the Home tab of the Ribbon and then hover the mouse pointer over one of these icons, which shows us, without actually doing the paste what the data will look like when we paste it into the worksheet. So for example, if I wanted to paste it normally, I could hover over this icon. If I wanted to only paste the formulas, I could do that.

If I wanted to paste it and keep the source formatting, I could do that. In this case, what I want to do is paste in the values along with the formatting and keeping column width. To do that, I hover over this icon, which is the Keep Source Column Widths icon, click it and Excel finishes the paste operation for me. If I thought that I saw something I liked, but I realize that I want to do it over, I can click the Paste Options button here at the bottom right side, and I get my palette back, and I can paste any of the other options that I want here.

If I want to get rid of the palette, I can either click up here, or I can press the Escape key. I can also copy the data from the previous worksheet onto this worksheet. So switching back to the other document, I can select those cells, press Ctrl+C to copy, switch back over to the other window and paste. I can either paste the values only, paste the values with number formatting or paste the values with all formatting. In this case, there is no difference because I only had number formatting in those cells, so I'll select this option.

Now that I have the data in the worksheet, I can add an image of a hydrangea flower. To do that, I can insert the picture, click the file I want to add and then click Insert. When I do, the photo appears on my screen. The photo is quite large, so I'll change the Height down to 2 inches and Excel changes the Width automatically to match the change in height. Now that the image is small enough for me to work with all at one time on the screen, I can remove the image's background. In other words, I want to focus on the hydrangea flowers themselves and get rid of the green leaves in the back.

To do that, I select the image and then on the Picture Tools, Format custom tab of the ribbon, I can click the Remove Background button. When I do, Excel analyzes the image and it separates the foreground from the background. In this case, everything looks to be correct. So I can click the Remove Background button again and Excel removes the background. But notice that the image is still the same size as it was. In other words, even though the background is clear, it is still technically part of the image. If I were to drag one of the handles on the side, I would resize the entire image, I wouldn't take away any of the blank space around it.

I'll undo the change I just made. If I want to eliminate those null areas from the background of the image, then I can crop the image. To do that, select the image, again on the Format tab, I can click Crop. When I do, Excel displays crop handles around the image. I can move my mouse pointer over one of the controls to drag them. In this case, I'll move in from a corner, so I'm affecting the bottom and right side at the same time and I'll do the same thing for the other three corners.

And in this case, actually I can just drag in from the left side so I already have my top and bottom set and there we are. When I'm done, I can click Crop, and Excel reduces the image to a manageable size. Rather than have the image set by itself though, I would like to add a little bit of flair to it. So I'll change the picture style. To do that, with the image selected, go up to the Picture Styles gallery and select the style that I want to add. I will add a black matte frame, click it and Excel provides the matte around the side.

The black matte, to me, is a little bit overwhelming, especially when you consider the other colors that are being used in the worksheet right now. So what I'll do is I will keep the interior black, but I'll change the outlying border to a slightly softer color, such as a dark gray. To do that, I can click Picture Border and select a new color. The new Paste Preview feature in Excel 2010 helps you determine how data will appear when you paste it into a workbook without the drudgery of finishing the paste and then undoing the operation and trying another option.

In addition, the new image editing tools enable you to make changes that normally would have required you to open another program. You can't do everything in Excel 2010 that you could do in a dedicated image editing program, but the new capabilities let you stay in Excel and work more efficiently.

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