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 August 16, 2017)

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. ...

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What is 6 - 3?

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?


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