Skip Blanks Use Case In Excel

Here is an actual use case for the Paste Special Skip Blanks option in Excel:

You can download the file here and follow along. If you get a preview, look for the download arrow in the upper right hand corner.

So I’ve been going through some physical therapy to strengthen my right knee to get back to long distance running. I’ve decided to train for a half marathon this fall, and I laid out my training mileage chart as follows:


I’ve entered the mileage but not the activities for Monday, Friday and Saturday. What would go in those cells is Rest for Monday and Friday, and Cross (cross training) for Saturday.

Now, I could enter that text in the cells for Wk1 and copy them across, but why not make it easier and use the Skip Blanks option under Paste Special?

So, in column O, I entered the data as I would want it to appear, including the borders and centering the text:


If I copied those cells and did a standard Paste (Ctrl + V), it would not come out as I would like it:


Excel replaced the mileage I had in my chart with the blanks located in the copied cells.

Instead, after copying the cells, I will access Paste Special using the keyboard shortcut:

Ctrl Alt V

After choosing Skip Blanks, I will hit OK:


Now, my mileage chart has the data properly inserted. Skip Blanks only paste the text, and “skipped” over pasting the blanks into the destination cells:


Perfect! Now off for a run!

Happy Excelling!

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