How to Copy Formatting in Excel – Copy Cell Formatting

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Talking about formatting, Excel provides many options when you need to manage formatting issues. Whenever you need to make reports, formatting is a key thing you will be needing. Excel gives its users a valuable chance to make their data crystal clear by using different formatting options including styles and colors. What would you do if you need to copy formatting in Excel?

Here in this post, you will get to know how to copy formatting in Excel by using multiple approaches.

How to Copy Formatting in Excel with Paste Special Option

While copying and pasting cells, you might have noticed a few more options in the paste menu, such as Paste text, Paste values, etc. Paste formatting is also an option given there that you will be needing in this process. Using this option, you can copy only the formatting from cell to cell.

Choose a cell and right-click on it.

Click on Copy option or else you can even use CTRL + C keyboard shortcuts.

copy formatting paste special

Choose a cell range in which you need to copy the formatting (C2:C7)

Right-click anywhere in the selected range and then click on the arrow that appears next to Paste Special.

Click on the icon to apply formatting.

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Format Painter option also uses a similar approach and gives you the same results. You might have noticed that Format Painter also uses the Paste Special option to copy. The Paste Special trick is used for pasting formatting on each cell of the same sheet or even another sheet or workbook.

How to Copy Formatting in Excel using the Fill Handle

Fill Handle is a well-known option used for copying formulas or even auto-fill cells with data. You must be wondering how this option helps in copying formatting in Excel. Relax! Below are some easy-to-follow steps you can use to clear up your mind:

You can format the first cell in whatever way you want.

Choose a properly formatted cell and place it over the fill handle. The fill handle is basically an icon you can see in a small square shape placed at the bottom of the right-hand side. Once you place the cursor over the fill handle, you will see the cursor turns from a white cross to a black cross.

Now, hold and drag the fill handle over each cell in which you need to apply formatting.

copy formatting fill handle

The values of the first cell will be copied as well to other cells. Don’t worry if you don’t want to copy the values to other cells, you can undo it.

Release the fill handle and choose the Auto Fill Options drop-down menu. Select the Fill Formatting Only option now.

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That’s it! you can see the copied cell values are now slipping back to the original values. And the format you want to apply is there in the column.

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How to Copy Formatting in Excel with Keyboard Shortcuts

Apart from the above-mentioned methods, users always tend to seek shortcuts to save time. To copy formatting in Excel, we have some useful keyboard shortcuts that can help you save time as well as effort.

Choose the cell and apply the keyboard shortcut by pressing CTRL + C keys.

Choose the cell where you need to apply the formatting and press the key ALT + H + V + R.

That’s it!

How to Copy Formatting in Excel with Format Painter

Format Painter option as you already know is used for cell formatting. Using a brush in the Paint tool is much similar notion to using Format Painter. You can paint the formatting of one cell into another cell with the help of Format Painter.

Did you get the point?


You can copy the formats such as Font Size, Number Formatting, Font Type, Font Styles, Font Color, Alignments, Cell Background Color, and Cell Border.

Below you can see a cell formatting:


Cell A1 has the number and cell D1 also has the number. The difference in both cells is cell A1 has the number with the cell’s formatting whereas the D1 cell has the number without formatting. Therefore, Format Painter is used here to copy the formatting from cell A1 to D1. Below are the steps for this:

Place the cursor in cell A1 and click on the Format Painter option.


A brush option will appear as you click on the Format Painter option.

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Click on this brush option on cell D1 and the formatting will be applied.


Now, all the formatting is applied successfully from cell A1 to cell D1 smoothly.

Now, suppose you need to apply the same format on multiple cells, what would you do?


Definitely, you cannot click on each cell to apply the formatting. So, instead of clicking each cell, you can activate the Format Painter option more than one time.

Double-click on the Format Painter option and then double-click once again on Format Painter. You can repeat the procedure at whatever times you need.


Now, click on the cells you need to apply the formatting.

copy formatting format painter8

That’s it!

Now, you know how to copy formatting in Excel, so continue practicing each method mentioned above. No matter what approach you are applying to copy formatting, you will always find the same results.

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