I use an old program called Microsoft Works Database to maintain lists in the form of spreadsheets. After I update a list, I could copy the information to Google Sheets so that I can view them online. It had been working fine until recently.

What I would do is in Microsoft Works Database, press Ctrl+A to select all and Ctrl+C to copy the rows, and then in Google Sheets (using Google Chrome), open the file, press Ctrl+A to select all and Ctrl+V to replace the old rows by pasting the new rows into the selected cells.

Now when I try to paste the rows, they are not inserted into the cells, but as a floating movable selection above the cells!

How can I get the pasted rows to be inserted into the cells, instead of them being placed on top of the cells?

  • Have you tried pasting with crt-shift-v (paste as plain text?)
    – Hink
    Aug 29, 2019 at 15:14
  • I just tried it now and nothing seems to happen.
    – theMaxx
    Aug 29, 2019 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


I figured out what the problem was:

I copied all of the rows from the Microsoft Works Database spreadsheet, and then pasted them into a plain text file. The data appeared as tab-separated values. At the end of the text was an extra blank line. I deleted the empty line at the end, and again copied all of the data. I opened the spreadsheet in Google Sheets, deleted all of the old data, and pasted the new data...and the cells were filled in just fine using the rows of new data.

An extra blank line that was included in the copied data must have been confusing the Google Sheets program!

I'm not sure what they changed, as my previous method used to work just fine, but for now, if anyone is having this problem, they can just do this extra step as a workaround, and it should continue to work as usual.


Removing the blank line was not necessary. Simply pasting the rows into a text editor and then copying it again was enough to allow the rows to be pasted properly into the Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Also copying all of the rows from the Microsoft Works Database spreadsheet and then closing the program brings up a window that says: "Save large clipboard contents? You placed a large amount of information on the clipboard. Click Yes to make it available for other applications after you quit Works." Yes or No. Clicking Yes and then pasting the rows into the Google Sheets spreadsheet worked fine after that.

So basically copying the rows from the Microsoft Works Database spreadsheet is in some special or unusual format that doesn't seem to match the Google Sheets format, but a simple paste and copy in a text editor trick seems to fix the problem.

Who knows why?


Try pressing CTRL + SHIFT + V instead of CTRL + V. This should paste raw values.

  • 1
    I tried that already and it didn't seem to do anything. Any other ideas?
    – theMaxx
    Aug 29, 2019 at 19:27
  • did you try pasting it somewhere else than GS? is it possible to paste it elsewhere?
    – user0
    Aug 29, 2019 at 20:56
  • I tried pasting the same data into a plain text file and that works just fine. I tried again with Google Sheets and it just pastes on top of the cells instead of into the cells.
    – theMaxx
    Aug 30, 2019 at 7:43
  • 2
    Thanks for your comment. It helped me to figure out what the problem was. I posted the answer above.
    – theMaxx
    Aug 30, 2019 at 8:57

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