Converting Conditional Formatting to Regular Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 4, 2020)


Parton wonders if there is a way to convert conditional formatting into absolute formatting. He would like to be able to 'fix' the formatting in a worksheet in a way similar to how Paste Values can be used to 'fix' the values of cells.

There is no way to do this in Excel. (It would be especially great if you could do it using a Paste Special option, as Parton notes.) You can, however, use some macros to do the trick. The macros are not trivial, however, as VBA doesn't give you a whole lot of help in dealing with conditional formatting. For a good idea of what is involved, you may want to refer to this page on Chip Pearson's website:

There is another thing you can try, as well, that involves saving your workbook in a different format. Try these general steps:

  1. Load the workbook that contains your conditional formatting.
  2. Save the workbook as an HTML file. (Press F12, specify the HTML format, and give the workbook a different name.)
  3. Restart Excel.
  4. Load into Excel the HTML file you saved in step 2.
  5. Save the workbook as an Excel workbook. (Press F12, specify an Excel workbook format, and give the workbook a different name.)

In the process of saving the Excel workbook in HTML format, the program "strips" all the conditional formatting and makes it explicit (absolute). You should be aware, however, that this process also does the same with your formulas, saving everything as a value, instead. Even so, this may work for your needs if the tradeoff is acceptable.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13721) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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. ...


Default Units that Change

Word allows you to specify the unit of measurement you would like used in dialog boxes throughout the program. It can get ...

Discover More

Combining Documents

Need to combine quite a few text documents? A macro may be the easiest way to stuff them all into a single Word document.

Discover More

Viewing Comments

There are three different ways that Excel allows you to display any comments that are in your worksheet. Here's how you ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Conditional Page Breaks

Need to have your worksheet printout start on a new page every time a value in a column changes? There are a couple of ...

Discover More

Diagonal Borders in a Conditional Format

Conditional formatting is a great tool for changing how your data looks based on the data itself. Excel won't allow you ...

Discover More

Changing Shading when a Column Value Changes

If you have a data table in a worksheet, and you want to shade various rows based on whatever is in the first column, ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 four minus 0?

2020-01-24 04:31:19

Gerhard Seljehammer


ASAP Utilities, which I highly recommend, has solved that (and many other challenges in Excel) with: "Range » Replace conditional formatting with static formatting in selection".

2020-01-06 17:20:49


To carry the second solution a step further, I think it would be possible to do the HTML trick creating a new version of the original file (with a new name), then copy and paste special - formulas from the original worksheet to the new one. You could also paste special - column widths and/or formulas and number formats, and possibly comments. It is a bit of extra work, but would overcome the trade-off mentioned in the tip.

If you need to do this often you could record a macro that does all the work, then modify it to use with different file names (if you are proficient with macros).

2020-01-05 02:33:30

Peter McNab

I do this on a regular basis when extracting sheets from a spreadsheet containing conditional formatting. In my case, I am only interested in the font colour and background colour. Once the extracted sheets are manipulated and the primary workbook is closed, the conditions no longer apply. So before that I run a macro that checks each cell, similar to the following, using the DisplayFormat property. This does take a little while even for a small spreadsheet (my real case does other stuff in the loop), but it may be quicker than the html procedure.
' determine a range of interest
Set rSelect = Range("a1")
Set rSelect = Range(rSelect, rSelect.SpecialCells(xlLastCell))
' check all cells in range
For Each cc In rSelect
With cc
If .FormatConditions.Count > 0 Then
' use conditionally formatted foreground and background colour
.Interior.Color = .DisplayFormat.Interior.Color
.Font.Color = .DisplayFormat.Font.Color
End If
End With
Next cc

2020-01-04 22:15:26

Max Zimmerman

Would it not be simpler to select the page/copy open a new tab and paste formulas? Delete the old tab if no longer needed.

2020-01-04 12:06:44


For those who might be looking for a "i don't need to know how it works, just need to get it done" solution - ASAP Utilities <> has a tool that will do this.

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

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.