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Copy special

This function copies your spreadsheet or selected cells to the clipboard as a table in either tabbed text, RTF or HTML. You can then paste the copied cells into another application. RTF files can be read by many text editors such as Microsoft Word and Notepad, while HTML can be used in any HTML editor.

Note: You can also save your spreadsheets directly to an HTML or RTF file using File | Save As. Additionally you can save spreadsheets or a range of cells in a variety of other formats such as pictures (.png, .jpeg, etc), Excel files or text files using File | Save As or File | Save Selection.

The following formats are available.

Text Copies the complete spreadsheet as tab delimited text.
RTF Table Copies the spreadsheet as an RTF (Rich Text Format) table.
HTML Table Copies the spreadsheet as an HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) table.
Rectangle Copies the selected cells as tab delimited text.
    1. Select a range of cells or select the entire spreadsheet by clicking the top-left cell titled Row.
    2. From the menu select Edit | Copy Special then select one of the formatting options.
      • If you select RTF Table or HTML Table a dialog similar to the following will appear. These options control how the clipboard contents will be displayed when pasted into another program.
    3. Select options as required then click OK.

    4. Open the program you want to insert the copied cells into then use Ctrl+V or that program’s own editing commands to paste the clipboard contents.
RTF and HTML options

Table width Specifies the width of the table on the page in either inches or centimetres. Making the table wider than the current page will cause problems in display, whereas making the table too narrow will cause the text within cells to be wrapped on to multiple lines.
Autofit to contents

For an RTF table, if this item is selected, each column width will be sized to contain the widest item of data, provided the table will fit within the page. If it is not selected, then the table will be created with the width specified.

For programs which accept RTF tables, but do not recognize the table autofit property (for example older versions of Word, Windows Write, WordPerfect Office and Open Office), the table width specified will be used, rather than the columns being resized to fit their contents.

Centre table on page If selected the table will be centred on the page, otherwise it will be aligned on the left page margin.
Copy selected cells only This is available if there is a current selection active within a spreadsheet. If selected only the selected cells will be written to the table.
Column headings Controls whether a table heading, which is repeated on each new page, is placed in the table.

  • Variable names – The column names will be used as a heading line.
  • First row – The first row of the data will be used as a heading line.
  • None – No heading line will be added to the table.
Bold column headings Headings will be written in bold font.
Surrounding border A line of the required characteristics will be drawn around the border of table.

  • None – No border line will be added to the table.
  • Thin – A thin border line will be added to the table.
  • Thick – A thick border line will be added to the table.
  • Double – A double border line will be added to the
Grid between cells A grid of single thickness lines will be drawn in the table body to separate the cells.
Column justification This controls how the text is justified within each column.

  • Left – The text will be left aligned within each column.
  • Centred – The text will be centred within each column.
  • Right – The text will be right aligned within each column

The images below show how the spreadsheet appeared when copied in each format then pasted into a Word document using Ctrl+V.

Original spreadsheet

Copied as tabbed text

Note that column values aren’t aligned with column headers.

Copied as RTF table

Copied as HTML table

Copied as Rectangle

Note the absence of column headers.

Updated on March 4, 2019

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