Use Paste Special to multiply (or add, divide etc.) a range with a variable [quick tip]

Here is a fun way to use Paste Special to quickly multiply everything in a range with 1.1 (why 1.1? Well, imagine you have a report with everything in $s and your boss wants to see the numbers in Euros…)

But your report looks like this:


And the total column has different formulas for each row. So you can’t multiply first cell with a rate variable and drag it down. You have to manually edit each formula and add *rate at the end of it.

Oh wait…, you can use Paste Special.

Simple, use below steps:

  1. Write the exchange rate in a cell. Name it as rate (or whatever you fancy).
  2. In a blank cell write =rate
  3. Copy this blank cell.
  4. Select the range of numbers which you want to multiply with rate
  5. TIP: if the numbers are not together, hold CTRL and multi-select the ranges.
  6. Press CTRL + ALT + V to launch paste special dialog
  7. Select Multiply as operation type
  8. Select Formulas as paste type
  9. Click ok
  10. Your multiplication is done!
  11. When the rate changes, simply change the original rate cell

Here is a quick demo of this process. Watch it to learn more.

Use Paste Special to multiply (or add, divide etc.) a range with a variable - Demo

Do you use Paste Special operations?

I use the operations feature of paste special from time to time. But I never thought it would actually write formulas when multiplying with a cell having formula. This is really cool and could save time in some very tricky situations.

What about you? Do you use Paste Special operations feature? When do you use it? Please share your tips & experiences in the comments area.

More tips on Paste Special

If you think pasting is all about CTRL+V, you are obviously missing out on many time saving features of Excel.

Check out below articles for many cools ways to save time when copy pasting things in Excel.