Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Removing All Formatting.

Removing All Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 30, 2016)

3

If you want to remove all the formatting from a cell, there are a number of techniques you can use. One way is to use the Format Painter. If there is an "unformatted" cell close to the one from which you want the formatting removed, just select the unformatted cell and click on the Format Painter tool. Then click on the cell you want to be unformatted, and that should do the trick.

Another method is to select the cell or cells, display the Home tab of the ribbon, click Clear in the Editing group. Excel displays a submenu from which you can select Formats.

You can also remove formatting by using the built-in styles in Excel. Select the cells and display the Home tab of the ribbon. In the Styles group click Normal. The formatting of the cell is returned to whatever is defined as "normal" for your worksheet.

If you prefer to use a single tool to remove formatting, you can customize Excel by adding a special tool to the Quick Access Toolbar. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the dialog box click Customize (Excel 2007) or Quick Access Toolbar (Excel 2010 or later versions). (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Quick Access Toolbar area of the Excel Options dialog box.

  4. Use the Choose Commands From drop-down list to choose All Commands.
  5. In the list of commands, choose Clear Formats.
  6. Click the Add button. The command is copied to the right side of the screen.
  7. Click OK.

With the new tool in place, you can remove formatting by selecting the cells you want to affect and then clicking the tool.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6753) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Removing All Formatting.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Forcing Custom Toolbars to Stay in Position

Word 2002 and Word 2003 use dynamic toolbars that can adjust themselves based on usage patterns of the tools. This can ...

Discover More

Updating Fields in Locked Forms

Updating form fields in Word can be confusing, especially when the fields are locked in a form. This tips explains why ...

Discover More

Limiting Who Can Delete Data

Excel allows you to protect your worksheet data in several different ways. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to protect ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Preventing Automatic Date Formatting Changes

Excel often changes the formatting of a cell based on how it parses what you are entering into that cell. This is ...

Discover More

Changing Fonts in Multiple Workbooks

If you need to change fonts used in a lot of different workbooks, the task can be daunting, if you need to do it ...

Discover More

Setting Orientation of Cell Values

Need the contents of a cell to be shown in a direction different than normal? Excel makes it easy to have your content ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 6?

2016-02-01 09:29:59

Jeff C

select cells, then enter Alt,E,A,A


2016-01-30 09:23:03

Alan Cannon

An easier way to add "Clear Formatting" to the QAT is to navigate to the command in the ribbon but instead of left clicking it, right click it. In the context menu that appears click on "Add to Quick Access Toolbar". This also works with most other commands on the Ribbon.


2016-01-30 07:23:47

Mike W

While building your Tool bar, organize your icons according to their general purpose. For example, keep all your file management icons together (e.g., open close, save, save as, etc.).

Then use the <Separator> in the drop down menu to keep the groups separated. Since the <Separator> is located at the top of the list of commands, add several of them at the same time, then move them to where they need to be as you develop your Tool bar. It will save you the trouble of scrolling to the top of the list each time you start a new tool group.

The extra <Separator>s can be deleted or parked at the end of the Tool bar for later use.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.