If I open two separate Excel files in version 2007, I can copy/paste two cells from one to another that I'm editing. I can't seem to do this in the newer versions.

For example, I want to copy two cells, one says 401.9 and the other next to it says Hypertension.

I want to paste in the other sheet while I'm editing the cell to say "Delete code (pasting here) 401.9 Hypertension as this is not validated.

Hope that makes sense. It works in 2007 as long as I open two separate Excel programs, not if I open the files from the same one.

Basically I want to copy cells and paste them into the edit function of another cell, not just a copy/paste from cell to cell. I need to have other text in there as well.


  • I`m not sure to understand but in excel you can choose the type of paste, with a right click, a small menu appears and some options are availables – Mark Jun 22 '16 at 19:02

Click on the small arrow near clipboard to open it, copy each cell alone you will see it in the clipboard one over the other, go to the sheet where you want to paste it, double click on the cell to edit it, put the cursor where you want to paste the first 401.9 and click on it in the clipboard it will be pasted, move the cursor where you want Hypertension and also click on it in the clipboard, if you are satisfied with your edit press Enter.
Click to learn more about The Office Clipboard


user555689's answer is a good workaround, but the actual reason this doesn't work like it used to is due to a change in the design of Excel. Because some aspects of working with multiple files behave differently, depending on whether the two workbooks are running in the same instance (or process) of Excel, the Office team decided to make Excel detect at launch whether there is already an Excel process active and, if so, merge with it, in order to achieve consistency in behavior and reduce the frequency of unexpected results. (You can see this by opening Task Manager and sorting by process name; when you launch Excel from the start menu or by opening a file on your desktop, a second Excel process will appear for a few seconds, then disappear and the memory usage of the first process will increase.)

You can read more details in this blog post by Chad Rothschiller, a Program Manager in the Excel Team, but in brief, you can achieve the functionality you're used to from Excel 2007 by manually overriding this behavior, and thus having each workbook running in its own instance of Excel.

To do this:

  • hold ALT while you double-click to open the second workbook in Windows Explorer, or while you right-click the Excel icon in your taskbar and then click either "Excel 2013" or the second workbook's name in the jump list.
  • Keep holding ALT the whole time, until a dialog box appears asking "Do you want to start a new instance of Excel?", then click Yes.

You now have two separate Excel processes running; now you can copy from a workbook in one and paste into the workbook in the other, and it should behave the same way that it did in Excel 2007 when you had the workbooks open in separate Excel windows.

One final note: Personally, I do recommend against always using this technique by default whenever working in multiple workbooks at once, and instead only using it when specifically needed, simply because the single-process approach offers some memory and performance benefits.

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