Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Copying a Cell without Formatting.

Copying a Cell without Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2019)

1

If you want to copy the contents of a cell without formatting, you can easily do so by using the Paste Special feature of Excel. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells whose contents you want to copy.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy them to the Clipboard.
  3. Select the cell where you want to paste the contents.
  4. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  5. Click the down-arrow under the Paste tool. From the options presented, choose Formulas.

In step 5 you could have chosen one of the Paste Values options, but Excel would not have transferred any formulas. Instead, it would have pasted the results of formulas, as if they were static values. In other words, to truly copy cell contents, you must use the Formulas option.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9045) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Copying a Cell without 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

Task Pane Doesn't Appear Properly

Excel 2002 and 2003 include a Task pane that provides quick access to common tasks. The Task pane is normally visible ...

Discover More

Sorting Dates and Times

One of the strong features of Excel is its ability to sort information in a worksheet. When it doesn't sort information ...

Discover More

Changing Paragraph Borders

Word allows you to easily add borders to a paragraph of text. If you want, you can even change each side of the border to ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Stopping Feet and Inches from Converting to Dates

When pasting information into a worksheet, Excel tries to helpfully convert that information. This can cause undesired ...

Discover More

Changes in Font Size when Copying

Have you ever copied information from one worksheet to another, only to have the information you paste not look the way ...

Discover More

Recording a Data Entry Time

When entering information in a worksheet, it is common to also note a date or time corresponding to the entry. There are ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 1 + 0?

2019-03-30 07:40:07

Alex B

I used to think what I wanted to do was copy "without formatting" but when it resulted in dates turning out as numbers I soon realised that a much better option was to include the Number format in the copying.
On the Paste Special Dialogue box on the right hand side you will find these options.
• Formulas and number formats (or right-click paste special drop down > button with %fx - 1st row)
• Values and number formats (or right-click paste special drop down > button with %2 - 3rd row)
I use the values and number formats enough to have it on the quick access toolbar.
In vba xlPasteFormulasAndNumberFormats & xlPasteValuesAndNumberFormats.


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.