How to Copy Only Visible Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

When working with large datasets in Excel, copying only the visible cells can save you a lot of time. Hidden rows and columns often contain data you don’t need, so you can avoid them with a few simple steps. This guide will walk you through how to copy only the visible cells in Excel, ensuring that you can work more efficiently.

How to Copy Only Visible Cells in Excel

By following these steps, you’ll learn how to copy only the cells that are visible in your Excel spreadsheet. This is particularly useful when you’ve filtered your data or hidden certain rows or columns.

Step 1: Select Your Data

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to copy. Make sure you’ve already hidden or filtered out the cells you don’t need.

Selecting your data first sets the stage for the entire process. It lets Excel know which part of your worksheet you’re working with.

Step 2: Go to the Home Tab

Navigate to the ‘Home’ tab at the top of your screen.

The ‘Home’ tab contains all the basic tools you need for formatting and editing your data.

Step 3: Find the Editing Group

In the ‘Home’ tab, locate the ‘Editing’ group. Click on the ‘Find & Select’ drop-down menu.

The ‘Editing’ group is where you’ll find options to modify and navigate your data effectively.

Step 4: Choose ‘Go To Special’

From the ‘Find & Select’ drop-down menu, choose ‘Go To Special.’

‘Go To Special’ allows you to select different types of cells within your highlighted range.

Step 5: Select ‘Visible Cells Only’

In the ‘Go To Special’ dialog box, select ‘Visible cells only,’ then click ‘OK.’

This option ensures that only the visible cells within your selected range are chosen for copying.

Step 6: Copy the Cells

Press ‘Ctrl + C’ to copy the visible cells.

Now that you’ve selected only the visible cells, copying them will ignore any hidden data.

Step 7: Paste the Cells

Navigate to where you want to paste the cells and press ‘Ctrl + V.’

This final step pastes only the visible cells into the new location, maintaining your data’s integrity.

After completing these steps, you’ll have successfully copied only the visible cells from your Excel worksheet. This technique is invaluable for maintaining clean and organized data.

Tips for Copying Only Visible Cells in Excel

  • Always double-check that the cells you want to copy are visible before starting.
  • Use the ‘Filter’ tool to hide rows or columns that you don’t need.
  • Practice using keyboard shortcuts like ‘Ctrl + C’ and ‘Ctrl + V’ to speed up the process.
  • Make sure to save your work before making significant changes.
  • If you make a mistake, use ‘Ctrl + Z’ to undo your last action.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I accidentally copy hidden cells?

If you accidentally copy hidden cells, simply use ‘Ctrl + Z’ to undo the action and start over.

Can I use this method on multiple sheets?

Yes, but you will need to repeat the process for each sheet individually.

Does this work with Excel for Mac?

Yes, the steps are similar, though the interface might look slightly different.

What if ‘Go To Special’ is grayed out?

Make sure you have selected your data range first. ‘Go To Special’ will only activate when a range is selected.

Can I copy visible cells to another workbook?

Absolutely, you can paste the visible cells into a new workbook or another worksheet within the same workbook.


  1. Select your data
  2. Go to the Home tab
  3. Find the Editing group
  4. Choose ‘Go To Special’
  5. Select ‘Visible Cells Only’
  6. Copy the cells
  7. Paste the cells


Copying only visible cells in Excel is a straightforward process that can make your data management tasks much simpler. Whether you’re working with filtered data, hidden rows, or large datasets, this method ensures you only copy what you need. Remember, mastering Excel’s features can significantly boost your productivity, so don’t hesitate to explore more tricks and tips.

For further reading, consider diving into Excel’s advanced features, such as PivotTables and conditional formatting. These tools can provide even more control over your data. So go ahead, try out this technique, and see how much smoother your workflow becomes.

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