Pasting HTML without Hyperlinks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 18, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


When Ron copies a table from his company's website and pastes it into Excel, it takes a good 20 to 30 seconds to complete the paste operation, during which Ron cannot do anything else on his PC. The table is not large; only about 7 columns by 20 rows. It contains a mix of text and numbers, plus some hyperlinks. Ron thinks it may be the hyperlinks that slow down the pasting, as this long delay doesn't happen when performing a similar operation with other websites. Ron doesn't need the hyperlinks to be pasted, and using Paste Special with a non-HTML paste type doesn't provide satisfactory results. He wonders if there is a way (perhaps with a macro) to paste from the Clipboard in HTML format, but without the hyperlinks.

It could very well be that the problem is with the hyperlinks, but the reason that the hyperlinks are slowing it down may not be related to Excel. The first thing you'll want to check is with any third-party firewalls or anti-virus programs on your system. It is possible that they are intercepting the hyperlinks in the paste operation and checking each of them out before allowing the paste to complete. The only way to find out if that is the case is to disable the suspect program just before you do the paste (and you can enable it after the operation).

Within Excel, your options really are limited. You really only have the choices available under Paste Special to get the information into the worksheet. You may not like the way that the information appears if you paste in text format, but you might also try the Match Destination Formatting option to see if it provides more acceptable results.

Finally, it is possible that the culprit isn't the hyperlinks but is related to your workbook recalculating. If there are a lot of formulas and functions used throughout the workbook, pasting will trigger a recalculation of the entire workbook. You can figure out if this is the culprit by simply turning off automatic recalculation (use the Calculation Options tool on the Formulas tab of the ribbon) before doing your paste.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7403) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

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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