Software

Quick method for deleting literal values in an Excel sheet

Quickly deleting input values can mean a lot of selecting, some of it awkward and potentially dangerous. Instead, select all the numeric cells using this special selection technique.

Most spreadsheets have literal values and formulas that evaluate those literal values. Sometimes, you have to delete all the literal values, or input cells. Ensuring that you (or your users) don't accidentally delete formulas at the same time is a serious consideration. You could protect the sheet or provide a macro that clears the input cells before distributing a workbook, but you don't always have that much control over the spreadsheets users create themselves.

There's also a manual technique for clearing input cells. It's dependable and will take just a minute to train most users as follows:

2003

2007/2010

  1. Press [F5] or choose Go To from the Edit menu.
  2. Click Special.
  3. Select Constants and then select only the Numbers option.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Press Delete.

  1. Click the Home tab, click Find & Select in the Editing group, and choose Go To Special. Steps 1 and 2 for 2003 also work.
  2. Select Constants and then select only the Numbers option.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Press Delete.

It's that simple! Input values are gone, and formulas remainl intact. It's a great way to help users protect their own spreadsheets.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox