How To Copy Only Visible Cells In Google Sheets

In this post, you’ll learn how to copy only visible cells in Google Sheets so that you only paste the results you want and don’t include any hidden data.

For this tutorial, we’ll use this dataset, shown in full to begin:

Data in Google Sheets

Now suppose that columns B and C, and rows 6 – 9, are hidden so the data looks like this:

Hidden data in Google Sheets

If you just highlight this data and copy it, then when you paste it elsewhere the hidden data shows up.

So, how do you copy only visible cells?

Example 1: Copy Only Visible Cells And Not Hidden Rows or Columns

Step 1:

Hold down the Control key (or Command key on a Mac) and highlight each section of data.

Keep the Control (or Command) key pressed the whole time you’re highlighting data and be careful not to include any hidden rows or columns.

Here’s what that looks like with the hidden data example above:

Copy Only Visible Cells In Google Sheets

When you press the Control (or Command key on a Mac), you can highlight data that is non-contiguous (i.e. not touching).

In this example, you highlight four separate ranges simultaneously:

A2:A5, D2:E5, A10:A11, and D10:D11

Step 2:

With the data highlighted, press Control + C (or Command + C key on a Mac) to copy the data.

You can clearly see that Google Sheets will now copy only visible cells, because of the dotted blue border around them:

Copy Only Visible Cells In Google Sheets

Step 3:

Paste the data elsewhere (the shortcut is Control + V or Command + V on a Mac).

Only the visible cells will now show:

Data pasted in Google Sheets

Example 2: Copy Only Visible Cells With Grouped Rows And Columns

To copy-paste data with grouped rows or grouped columns that you don’t want to include, follow the same steps above.

Use the Control key (or Command key on a Mac) and highlight each section of data in turn, e.g.:

Copy only visible cells in Google Sheets

(The plus symbol above column A and to the left of row 5 are the grouped column buttons.)

Example 3: With Filtered Data

This method only applies to rows, not columns.

Suppose rows of data are not shown because a filter has been applied, instead of being hidden or grouped.

For example, this data has been filtered to show only California rows:

Filtered data in Google Sheets

You can copy these rows of data normally, without needing the special methods above.

When you paste the data, only the visible rows will be included.

See Also

18 best practices for working with data in Google Sheets

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