Word tip - Copy/pasting rows from one table to another

Subject: Word tip - Copy/pasting rows from one table to another
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 11:07:48 -0700

Hi Whirlers,

Thought I'd pass this along -- I've been grappling with it for a couple of days, was about to post it as a question but found a solution.

Working in Word 2010, I have a 2-column table (in a template doc) with 2 empty rows. Copying 5 rows of data from the source doc, and I want to paste into the new table as easily as possible.

I tend to do everything with "Paste Special | Unformatted Text" when I copy/paste things so that I don't hose up the pristine styles of the template doc. But I found that was a liability here.

When I tried to paste the 5 rows of source into the 2-row template table (even if I added another 3 empty rows to match the count), then whether I put the cursor in the first empty cell, or selected the first row (with or without the end-of-row marker), then did my Paste Special, in the first case all the data went into that first empty cell, and in the second case only the first row was pasted (in the first empty row), and the rest of the content was lost.

Of course, if I select all 5 empty rows and paste the 5-row source, using Paste Special, no problem. But the reason I was looking this up is because sometimes I have to copy/paste let's say a 300-row table, and I don't want to sit there and add 300 empty rows in the destination table in the template.

So if you do NOT use Paste Special but simply paste (Ctrl+V), you can put your cursor in the first empty cell (top left) of even a 1-row destination table (the whole row empty), and then paste your 300 rows of content and it will transfer just fine.

The receiving style for the text in the pasted cells ends up being something called "Table Text," which looks like a Word default. I then apply my preferred style to those cells. But the source style was much more complicated, and it didn't pull that over, which was a relief because I didn't want to add that honked-up style to the template.

I just ran another test and this time dang it worked like a charm. I had a shell table (in a template doc) with 3 rows of content and then an empty row at the bottom. I copied 100 rows of data from my source doc, put the cursor in the left cell of that bottom empty row, and hit Ctrl+V to paste. This time, not only did the whole 100 rows get dumped in (adding 99 rows to the bottom of the table), but the styles in the cells preserved the existing (destination) style -- probably because there was already some data in that table (in that style). In my first case above I had no data, just empty cells, and I'm guessing that's why the "Table Text" style was applied.

Word is a mystery -- this is probably in some manual, including a couple I have, but even a search on the web didn't come up with anything remotely related to this. I suppose I should have searched Techwhirl, but laziness ruled.

Anyway, you might find that helpful. It was a fun discovery for me (and a big relief). It shows that there are unintended drawbacks to always using Paste Special (with Unformatted Text).

Steve

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