Changing the Default Paste Mode

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 31, 2019)


Avner notes that when he copies information from an external source, the default "paste" is to match the origin's format. But 99% (it is probably 99.99%) of the time, he wants to use the destination worksheet's format, so he needs to change the paste option to "Destination" format. Avner wonders if there is a way to change the default paste format to match the destination format.

Yes, there is a way to change the default using macros. However, you may want to consider a non-macro way, as well. In order to take this approach, the cleanest approach would be to add the desired paste mode to the Quick Access Toolbar. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Customize (Excel 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar (later versions of Excel). (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Quick Access Toolbar option in the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Using the Choose Commands From drop-down list, choose All Commands.
  5. Scroll through the Commands list until you find "Paste and Match Destination Formatting" option. Select the command by clicking on it.
  6. Click the Add button. The command moves to the right side of the dialog box.
  7. Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box.

Now when you want to paste, you can simply click on the newly added tool and you will have the desired effect in your worksheet.

If you want to take the macro route, you can create a very short macro like the following:

Sub PasteMyWay()
    On Error Resume Next
    ActiveCell.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteValues
End Sub

You can modify the value of the Paste parameter to be something different, if you find a different pasting mode is better for your purposes. Here are the Excel docs that explain the modes available:

Once your macro is set up, you can replace the regular Ctrl+V command by following these steps:

  1. Press Alt+F8. Excel displays the Macro dialog box, which includes a list of your defined macros. (Your newly created macro should be among them.)
  2. Select the PasteMyWay macro.
  3. Click on Options. Excel displays the Macro Options dialog box, and the insertion point should be blinking in the box under the Shortcut Key heading. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Macro Options dialog box.

  5. Press v (a lowercase "v"). This indicates that you want the macro assigned to the Ctrl+V shortcut key.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Click on Cancel to close the Macro dialog box.

Now whenever you press Ctrl+V, your macro is executed, and the paste mode matches whatever you specified in the macro.


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 (13669) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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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What is nine more than 5?

2019-09-01 09:54:44

Peter Atherton

Harland J
2007 does not have this option, but you can add the paste special dialog to the QAT
Choose Office, Excel Options, Customize, Click the Drop box and choose commands not in the ribbon, Add the Paste Formatting, click OK.

(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. Customize QAT

2019-08-31 15:46:16


I have customized my QAT similarly. But, because of the limited space on the QAT, I just have have buttons for Paste Values, Paste Formatting, and Paste Formulas. I have the buttons side-by-side so that I can accomplish most common pasting scenarios (those three buttons give you six different combinations) with usually one or two quick clicks. I just wish there was a Paste Comments button for the QAT as I need that frequently. Microsoft, are you listening?

2019-08-31 15:37:54

Tom Watkins

Here: (see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 

2019-08-31 11:02:22

Harland Johnson

I like this tip. BUT, "Paste and Batch Destination Formatting" (step 4) does not appear on my list of All Commands (Excel 2007). See screenshot {fig}

2019-08-31 10:50:16

Harland Johnsonq

I like this tip. BUT, "Paste and Batch Destination Formatting" (step 4) does not appear on my list of All Commands (Excel 2007). See screenshot {fig}

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