Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Using Copy and Paste for Formatting.

Using Copy and Paste for Formatting

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 7, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


In other issues of ExcelTips you learn how to use the Format Painter to quickly and easily copy formatting between cells. Despite how handy it is, there may be times when you don't want to use the Format Painter. For instance, the Format Painter may not be visible at the top of the screen and it would be a hassle to display it just to copy a format. In instances like this, you can use copying and pasting to copy formats to a different cell or cell range.

To copy formatting using this method, you use techniques traditionally used when editing the contents of your worksheet:

  1. Select the cell or cells whose format you wish to copy.
  2. Press Ctrl+C or press Ctrl+Insert. This copies the cell contents to the Clipboard and places a dotted, moving border around your selection.
  3. Select the cell or cell range into which you want the formats pasted.
  4. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  5. Click the down-arrow under the Paste tool and then select Paste Special from the resulting options. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box.
  6. Choose the Formats radio button.
  7. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12469) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using Copy and Paste for 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

Beginning a Mail Merge

Performing a mail merge can be intimidating to some people. It needn't be; Word provides step-by-step wizards that lead ...

Discover More

Cycling through Colors

Excel includes quite a few tools that are not normally accessible through the various toolbars. One such esoteric tool is ...

Discover More

Controlling the Printing of Highlighting

Using Word's built-in highlighter tool can be a great way to add markup to a document and attract a reader's eyes to ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Underlining Text in Cells

Want a quick way to add some underlines to your cell values? It's easy using the shortcuts provided in this tip.

Discover More

Shortcut Key for Format Painter

The Format Painter is great for copying formatting from one cell to another. If you don't want to grab the mouse to use ...

Discover More

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Information in a worksheet needs to be displayed using fonts. If you understand the two different types of fonts ...

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 3 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.