How to Copy Values Without Formulas in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Table of Contents


Google Sheets, a widespread tool within Google’s suite involved in cloud-based storage and collaboration, is more than a regular spreadsheet software. A trustee for many businesses over the world, Google Sheets handles numbers, complex calculations, data organization and much more. However, a significant aspect of this tool involves the process of copying values and not formulas. This article delves deep into the purpose, significance, and methods related to google sheets copy value not formula.

Understanding Google Sheets

Formulas in Google Sheets

At the heart of Google Sheets lie formulas — powerful tools that allow you to automate calculations, manipulate text, analyze data, and much more. With a correctly written formula, you can turn a static spreadsheet into a dynamic dashboard. However, it’s crucial to be careful while copying cells with formulas as they reference specific cells, and copying them may often lead to mistakes in your calculations.

Significance of Values in Google Sheets

In direct contrast to formulas, values are the static elements in our sheets — the raw numbers or text we input into each cell. These values are the bases of all the calculations and manipulations formulas perform. The ability to copy these values independently from the formulas that originally produced them becomes essential in many instances, hence, the significance of understanding google sheets copy value not formula.

The Need for Copying Values and Not Formulas

Case Scenarios Requiring Only Values

Often, you’ll need just the resultant values for your reports or analysis and not the underlying formulas. Consider situations where you are sharing data with people who don’t need to see or alter the calculations, or when you’re creating a report that only requires the final figures. In these cases, copying only the values becomes more than useful – it’s necessary.

The Problem with Copying Formulas

While copying a formula-rich cell, we unintentionally also copy the references to other cells. As a result, our newly pasted formula may not work as expected because the cell references in the formula may not hold in the new location. This mishap gives birth to errors, creating the need for a better understanding of google sheets copy value not formula.

Steps to Copy Values and Not Formulas in Google Sheets

Detailed Step-by-Step Process

Get ready to follow these simple steps:

1. Select the range of cells for which you want to copy the values.
2. Press Ctrl+C or right-click your selection and press ‘Copy’ to copy the content.
3. In the destination, right-click the selected cell where you want to paste the values.
4. Click on ‘Paste special’, and then ‘Paste values only’.

The values from the source will now be transferred to the target without the underlying formulas.

Visual Aids for Clarification

A few labeled screenshots demonstrating each step in the process will help clarify this process.

Alternate Methods to Copy Values and Not Formulas in Google Sheets

Short Methods

An alternative to right-clicking to paste is using the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+V after your initial copy with Ctrl+C. This combination is a quick method that directly pastes the copied values.

Long, but Effective Methods

Another alternate method is by using the ‘Find and Replace’ function to locate = symbol and replace it with another symbol such as #. Copy and paste your cells then replace the # back to = in the original cells.

Applications of Copying Values

Practical Uses in Professional Settings

In professional settings, copying only values could be used when creating reports, sharing finalized data with clients, or preserving data snapshots at certain periods.

Practical Uses in Personal Projects

In personal projects, copying only values instead of formulas can be useful for creating budgets, tracking expenses, organizing events, and much more.

Challenges and Solutions When Copying Values not Formulas

Common Issues Users May Face

Sometimes, copying values might alter the original formatting. Moreover, you may accidentally paste formulas if you forget to use ‘Paste special’.

Providing Possible Solutions

To counter formatting issues, use ‘Paste values and formatting’ option. If you accidentally paste formulas, immediately undo your action with Ctrl+Z to avoid complications.

Tips and Tricks

Sharing Expert Advice

Familiarize yourself with various shortcuts and features to increase your speed and productivity when working with Google Sheets.

Providing Additional Resources for Further Understanding

Google’s G Suite Learning Center and various online forums offer in-depth guides and tips on Google Sheets functionalities.


Mastering the art of google sheets copy value not formula maximizes your efficiency with the software. And as the scenarios suggest, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to apply this skill. So, take charge, experiment, explore, and conquer Google Sheets!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to copy only the values, not the formulas in Google Sheets?

Oftentimes, copying formulas can lead to inaccuracies due to changes in cell references. To avoid this, and when you only need the resultant values, copying only values is the ideal choice.

How can I ensure I’m copying only the values and not formulas in Google Sheets?

Use ‘Paste Special’ and select ‘Paste values only’ after copying the content. This ensures that only the values are pasted, not the formulas.

What problems could occur if I accidentally copy formulas instead of values?

Copying formulas may lead to error values if the formula references specific cells or ranges that don’t exist or are different in the new location.

Are there any shortcuts available to speed up the process?

Yes, after copying content, use Ctrl+Shift+V on your keyboard to paste values only quickly in Google Sheets.

If I copy a formula and later change the original data, will it affect the copied cell?

If you have copied the formula, any changes in the original data will reflect in the copied cell. However, if you copied only values, changes in the original data will not affect the copied cell.