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I'm running a query on SQL. Typically I can easily copy and paste the results from the query into Excel and it preserves the columns, rows etc.

However, in this case I'm selecting a bunch of emails and the bodies of those emails are html formatted. Every time I try and paste into Excel 2010, it completely messes it up since it's trying to be 'helpful' by parsing the html and converting img tags to images and table cells to Excel cells etc.

Is there some way I can have Excel be dumb and just paste my text without trying to figure out something clever to do with it?

I've tried using Paste Special. I've tried prepending a single quote to the start of the html body (someone said that tells Excel to treat the field as text and not parse it). I tried putting pipes | between each column, saving it to a text file and then importing the text file. No matter what I do, Excel keeps messing with the html.

Does anyone know how to paste html into Excel as just plain 'ol dumb text?

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Try unchecking all the delimiter options in the Data / Text-to-Columns dialogue box. –  chuff May 17 '13 at 1:00
If you mean in the wizard, already tried that. Besides, it's clearly not a delimiter issue. It's very obviously parsing the html. And As i said, it'll display <img> tags as the actual image. splitting up table cells into excel cells. So it's definitely trying to do something clever with the html. I just want it to paste everything as text and not try and do anything 'helpful' for me. –  merk May 18 '13 at 1:37
Did you also check the 'Text' option in Step 3 of the Text Import Wizard? –  Jerry May 22 '13 at 15:36
Yes i did, had no effect –  merk May 23 '13 at 19:03
Did you ever find a solution for this? I am trying to do this exact thing now! –  franglais Jun 3 '14 at 11:54

2 Answers 2

I figured it out!!!!

Try DOUBLE CLICKING in the cell to which you want to paste (rather than simply selecting the cell with a single click). Your paste option should then switch to text and NOT parse the text data.

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this was a while ago - i'll try this next time although if i remember correctly this wouldn't have been much help for me since i was pasting multiple records. Having to paste each cell one at a time would have been very unpractical –  merk Aug 14 '14 at 22:18

User [daverunt] on Mr. Excel Forums gave this answer.

It may not be applicable in all situations, because you have to save it to a ".txt" file, but it was the quickest way I could get around the problem when I had the same issue as in the original post. Mainly, in one step, it will prevent the HTML-interpretation of all your lines of text.

I think the best way is to save it in a text file.
In Excel select File Open.
Select Delimited then next
Un-tick all delimiter selections then Next
Text then Finish

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Thanks for the edits, G-Man. And by the way ... superb avatar. –  Mark Goldfain May 3 at 3:29

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