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: Copying a Cell without Formatting.

Copying a Cell without Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 3, 2018)

2

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, and 2016. 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

Protecting Tracked Changes

Track Changes is a great tool for editors and collaborators to use when creating documents. An author, seeking changes ...

Discover More

Insert AutoText Tool Unavailable on Header and Footer Toolbar

When creating headers or footers, you might notice at some time that the "Insert AutoText" tool on the Header and Footer ...

Discover More

Removing Specific Fields

Word allows you to place all sorts of fields in your documents. If you want to search for only specific types of fields, ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Ranges on Multiple Worksheets

Referring to a range of cells on the current worksheet is easy. But what if you want to refer to a range on a number of ...

Discover More

Deleting Everything Except Formulas

Need to get rid of everything in a worksheet except the formulas? It's easier to make this huge change than you think it is.

Discover More

Counting Words

Do you need to know how many words are in a range of cells? Excel provides no intrinsic way to count the words, but you ...

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 five minus 4?

2017-08-16 13:10:49

Scott

That is good to know, because I always assumed that if I clicked Formulas it would only copy formulas and not copy the data if they were not formulas but were ordinary values.


2017-08-16 08:20:45

Gene

Allen,

This brings up a question that I have been trying to find an answer for.

I have many workbooks that have many conditional formatting rules. Unfortunately when one uses the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V the conditional formats get copied also. I have tried to stress to the users of the workbooks to use Ctrl-C and then use the right click paste value option. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen. As you can imagine the conditional formatting gets rather messy.

Is there a way to lock the conditional formatting for a worksheet or workbook so the users can use the keyboard shortcuts? Or is there a way to change the default paste option?


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.