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: Changes in Font Size when Copying.

Changes in Font Size when Copying

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 16, 2022)

2

Excel provides a number of ways that you can copy information from one worksheet to another. The method you use in your copying can affect what you seen when the copy operation is completed.

If you strictly do a copy/paste operation (you press Ctrl+C to copy the source, and then use Ctrl+V to paste to the target), then Excel copies everything it can in the operation: cell contents, content formatting, conditional formatting, and other particulars about the cell. In essence, the cell (and everything about the cell) is copied from the source to the target. The only thing not copied is cell height and width.

The upshot of this behavior is that pasting can have undesired effects on your target worksheet. For instance, your source worksheet may use a particular formatting scheme that is different from the formatting scheme in the target worksheet. As an example, the source may have cells formatted to use 11-point text, and the target may use 10-point text. If you copy cells from the source and then paste them into the target, the information in the pasted cells will appear larger than the text in the surrounding cells. Why? Because the larger font was copied from the source, replacing the font in the target cells.

You can affect what is copied and what isn't copied by making your selection and pressing Ctrl+C, then selecting the target cells and displaying the Paste Special dialog box. (To display the dialog box, display the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down-arrow under the Paste tool, then choose Paste Special.) Use the controls at the top of the dialog box to specify exactly what should be pasted to the target cells.

For example, if you didn't want the source formatting to be placed into the target cells, all you need to do is make sure you choose the Formulas radio button in the Paste Special dialog box. This pastes the cell contents and nothing else.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12320) 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: Changes in Font Size when Copying.

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

Working with Table Columns and Rows

Need to add or delete columns and rows from a table? It's easy to do using the tools provided in Word.

Discover More

Combining Cell Contents

Excel allows you to easily combine text together. Interestingly, it provides two ways you can perform such combinations. ...

Discover More

Special Characters In Hyperlinks

Do you use special characters (such as the pound sign) in your worksheet names? If so, you could run into problems ...

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)

Removing Cells from a Selected Range

Select a large range of cells and you may later want to remove a few cells from that selection. This is not as easy as ...

Discover More

Typing a Schwa Character in Excel

How you add special characters to Excel can differ from how you add them in other Office programs, such as Word. This tip ...

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
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 five minus 3?

2022-04-23 03:02:49

Ian Hills

In my version of Excell (Excel for Mac 2011) I can produce this effect by double-clicking on the receiving cell, then right-click and paste.


2022-04-16 18:43:55

John Mann

I don't use the Paste Special dialogue box to solve this problem. Having copied my source data, and selected the destination cell(s), I simply click the down arrow in the Paste tool on the home tab, which then displays a variety of options. I then point my mouse over the various choices while watching both the destination range to see the preview and maybe also the baloon tip which describes the type of paste opperation (and a shortcut key).

I use "Paste Values" so much that I found it worth while adding it to my somewhat bloated QUAT.


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.