Copy Data From Browser to Excel

Instead of copying and pasting, you can quickly copy data from a web browser to Excel, by dragging and dropping.

To see the steps in action, you can watch this 30 second video.


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13 Responses

  1. Jon Peltier says:

    I just did a quick few tests, because this seems too good to be true.

    Using IE8, when I try to drag anything out of the IE window, the cursor changes to the red circle with the diagonal line.

    When I use Firefox, I can drag content from the browser to Excel, but any tabular data is converted to a long space delimited string (tabs and line feeds are converted) and pasted into a single cell. It’s only when the beginning of the copied content is outside of a table that the content is dropped into a grid of cells. So I either take extra time using copy and paste, or extra time cleaning up what the cat dragged in.

    Bummer. Guess I’ll keep doing this the old fashioned way.

  2. Thanks Jon, for posting your results. I can drag from IE8 to Excel, but I’m using Windows XP Pro, so maybe that makes a difference.

    With IE8 I get the table format, whether I copy part of the table, or include text outside the table. Dragging or copying and pasting give the same results.

    With FireFox, the table format is only kept if I use your tip of starting the copy outside the table. But that’s true whether I copy and paste, or drag to Excel.


  3. Jim Cone says:

    Never knew you could do that.
    I also tried the drag/drop into Word (Windows XP and Firefox) and the results looked pretty good to me.

  4. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    So, what exactly is a “Brower”? (Read your title again…[grin])

  5. Jon Peltier says:

    Actually, it works more reliably with Word, except that the formats are Word’s defaults instead of what appears on the site (e.g., Times in very large sizes).

  6. Thanks David and Jim, glad it worked for you!

    Rick, I don’t know what you’re talking about. The title looks fine to me. ;-)

    Jon, I get default fonts in Excel too, probably the closest match to the font family specified in the web page.

  7. Jon Peltier says:

    Nope, it’s always TNR, main text at least 12 pt (10 is fine for regular text) and the largest header is like 36 pt. I should probably apply a template with fixed up styles, but I don’t need this too frequently, once or twice a month.

  8. Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel) says:

    @Deb – You are right, the title looks fine to me too… now ;-)

  9. Matt Healy says:

    MS Office drag-and-drop is frequently flakey because Office maintains its own clipboard outside the one that is part of Windows itself. I’ve seen situations where copying directly from MSIE or Firefox into either Excel or Outlook does not work but copying into Word and then copying from Word into Excel or Outlook does the trick. Why three MS programs are sometimes needed when two don’t work right I have no idea, I guess it’s like the Holy Hand Grenade from Monty Python:

    And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.

  10. Collect data from web sites into Excel « Excel Tips Monster says:

    […] Such is dragging data from a browser into Excel. […]

  11. Contextures Blog » Drag a Text File Into Excel says:

    […] month, I showed you how to drag information from a web browser into Excel. You can also drag text files, to open them quickly in Excel. I find this a really quick way to […]

  12. Phil says:

    Wow this is a great tip! Just told the other people in our office and all were impressed (it’s something that’s annoyed many of us for many years). Thanks for the tip!

  13. daz says:

    use Firefox. I can highlight text and drag it from browser on to excel single cell. I cant do it using chrome or explorer. saves me 75% of my time

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