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: Using Copy and Paste for Formatting.

Using Copy and Paste for Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 9, 2017)

2

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, and 2016. 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. ...

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What is 5 + 9?

2018-04-20 17:25:09

Dennis Costello

Just getting around to commenting on this one. I generally use Alt-E-S-T for this purpose, rather than fumbling to get to the Ribbon. After all, you're already on the keyboard, having typed the Ctrl-C. Alt-E-S brings up the Paste-Special dialog box: from there the next character enables one of the Paste Special options. These are the ones I use all the time:
T is Formatting Only
V is Values Only
W is Column Width
F is Formula (instead of value)
C is Comments
E is Transpose


2017-12-10 09:41:39

John Mann

I don't see the advantage of this method. If I have to go the Home tab to get to the Paste tool, then I also have access to the format painter, which is right beside it, in the same group on the Home tab


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