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Automating Cut, Copy, and Paste

One thing we do in Excel is a lot of cut, copying and pasting.  One way to do is to go back to the home tab and click on the buttons.  This adds an extra step that we like to avoid.

One approach we use is to right click on the the cut, copy, and paste buttons and add them to the quick access toolbar (QAT). This saves having to go back to the home tab.  And, we located the QAT below the ribbon by right clicking on the QAT and selecting display below the ribbon.

Although this saved us time, we decided to go one better:  We purchased and installed Keyboard Express.  Its an easy to use keyboard macro utility.   It costs $29.95, and you can download a trial version to see if you like it first. 

The first four keys we programmed in Keyboard Express were

  • F1 - Cut - CTl-X
  • F2 - Copy - CTL-C
  • F3 - Paste - CTL-V
  • F4 - ALT-Tab

Keyboard Express detects the pressing of the above function key and sends the programmed key strokes instead.  It works not only in Excel but also other Office applications and in FireFox and Internet Explorer. Most of the time when we are doing a lot of editing, we have our left hand on the F1, F2, and F3 keys. Then we just use the mouse to select what we want or go where we and then press the desired function key.  If we are going back and forth between the browser and Excel, we use the F4 key to sent the ALT-Tab, which changes to the previous window.  Keyboard Express saves a lot of time, even over using the QAT.

We do lose the following functionality in Excel:

  • F1 - Help
  • F2 - Formula Edit
  • F3 - Displays the paste name dialog box
  • F4 - Change absolute setting of a cell reference.

You also lose the function key assignments in other programs, unless you set Keyboard Express to run only in certain windows.  We have not missed the functionality, and when we need the original key behavior back, we just disable the macro assigned to the key in Keyboard Express

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