Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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 Formats to a New Worksheet.

Copying Formats to a New Worksheet

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 16, 2019)

2

While developing your worksheets, you may wonder if there is a way to copy all formats—including row and column dimensions—to a new worksheet. Fortunately, this is quite easy to do, and there are a couple ways to go about it.

The biggest point to remember is that column widths are attributes of columns, not of individual cells. Likewise, row height is an attribute of rows, not of cells. This means that if you want to copy the width of a column to another worksheet, you need to select the entire column before clicking on the Format Painter. Likewise, if you want to copy the height of a row, you need to first select the entire row whose format you want to copy.

To put these guidelines in perspective, try this:

  1. Display a source worksheet that has non-default formatting for rows and columns.
  2. Select a row or range of rows in the worksheet. You need to select the entire rows, not just cells within the rows. (Click on the row numbers of the rows you want to select.)
  3. Click on the Format Painter in the Clipboard group.
  4. Display a target worksheet.
  5. Select the rows to which you want the formats applied.

At this point, the rows in the target worksheet should be formatted exactly the same as the rows you selected in the source worksheet. If you selected more rows in the target worksheet than you did in the source worksheet, then the formats of the rows are repeated in the target. These same steps could be applied to columns, as well.

If you want to format the entire target worksheet so it is formatted just like the source worksheet, simply select all columns and rows (press Ctrl+A or click on the gray junction block above row 1 and to the left of column A) in step 2.

Another way to copy the formatting of the entire worksheet is to make a copy of the worksheet itself. When the copy is created, you can simply delete any information you don't need.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9454) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Copying Formats to a New Worksheet.

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

Hyperlinks that Open in a Different Browser Window

When you click a link in a browser, the target of that link might open in the same window or in a new window. Getting an ...

Discover More

Can't Edit Macros

Load up documents created on older versions of Word, and you may find that you can't edit the macros you are used to ...

Discover More

Determining the Number of Fonts Available

When creating a macro, you may need to figure out how many fonts are available to Word. You can do this using the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Centering Your Worksheet

Got just a small amount of worksheet data to print out? It might look better on the printed page if you center it. Excel ...

Discover More

Changing Excel's Background Color

Excel does not provide a built-in way to change the background color used in a worksheet. You can, however, try a few ...

Discover More

Setting Page Margins

When getting ready to print your worksheet, you may want to take a moment to check what margins Excel will use on the ...

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 0 + 2?

2019-05-29 13:45:10

Dennis Costello

I often will use Paste-Special-Column Widths (Alt-E-S-W) to copy the width of a single column or group of columns onto a group of other columns.

When copying over other format characteristics, you can select the entire row by clicking on the row number decoration on the left and then as Allen indicated click on the format painter. To apply that, you can either click on the target row's number, or in cell A of the target row(s). Similarly, click on the column name(s) - A, B, C, etc. - in the decoration across the top, then the format painter, and to apply it click either on the target column(s) names or in row 1 of the target columns. Clicking outside of column A when you've captured the format of an entire row, or of row 1 when you've captured a column, will cause Excel to complain "You can't paste here because the Copy are and paste area aren't the same size." Considering that the alternative would be that Excel would likely be pasting the formatting into the wrong places, I like this behavior, even though I absentmindedly trip over it often.


2019-03-18 11:00:27

Roy

Well dip me in official MS mendacity and call me Mr. Brown. That's gonna be useful.

Wonder how I never noticed it. Probably "something, something, senility...": Thank you!


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.