Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Get Rid of Web Stuff.

Get Rid of Web Stuff

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 9, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Grant regularly copies information from Web pages and pastes that information into worksheets. He ends up not only with raw data, but also with other items, such as checkboxes, pictures, logos, etc. Grant wants an easy way to get rid of all these non-data items.

When you first paste from the Web into an Excel worksheet, you may want to consider using Paste Special to do something like Paste As Text or Paste Values. This should help preclude getting those unwanted objects into your worksheet in the first place.

If Paste Special doesn't give the desired results or if you are working with a worksheet into which the information and objects have already been pasted, there are a few things you can try. The first thing that most people try is to use Go To Special, in this manner:

  1. Press F5. Excel displays the Go To dialog box.
  2. Click the Special button. Excel displays the Go To Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Go To Special dialog box.

  4. Select the Objects option.
  5. Click OK.

When you do this, Excel selects a number of the objects in the worksheet, and you can then press the Delete key to get rid of them. The problem is that this method doesn't select all the non-data items in the worksheet; it only selects a subset of them—those items that are considered "objects" by Excel.

A better solution is to use a macro to select all the shapes in the worksheet and then delete them. This is fairly simple to do, using a macro like this one:

Sub DeleteAllShapes1()
    Dim shp As Shape
    For Each shp In ActiveSheet.Shapes
        shp.Delete
    Next
End Sub

The macro just loops thru each shape on the active worksheet and deletes each one. You could expand on the macro just a bit by having it also delete all the hyperlinks that are pasted in the worksheet. All it takes is the addition of a single line:

Sub DeleteAllShapes2()
    Dim shp As Shape
    For Each shp In ActiveSheet.Shapes
        shp.Delete
    Next
    ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks.Delete
End Sub

If, for some strange reason, these macros don't get rid of all the non-data items you want removed, there is another approach you can use: make a stop in NotePad before Excel. Simply paste your Web data into a blank NotePad document, then select that information (after it is pasted) and copy it back to the Clipboard. Then, paste it into Excel. The only thing that is left should be straight data.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6951) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Get Rid of Web Stuff.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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