How to Copy and Paste in Excel Without Changing the Format

Microsoft Excel is undoubtedly a powerful tool to exercise many kinds of functions to process data according to necessity. Among a lot of uses, we mostly use copy-paste functions. During this practice, the Excel software changes the format of the source cell by default. This automatic approach can change the format within a string of data. Without changing the format, we will see four methods to copy and paste into Microsoft Excel. This article elaborates on the methods with step-by-step instructions, especially with a figurative description.

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Learn to Copy and Paste in Excel Without Changing the Format by Four Approaches

The article is going to introduce four methods to the readers to copy and paste in Excel without changing the format. So, the classic practice of using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V isn’t the only way to do it. Users will get this versatile walkthrough of the widely used function in Microsoft Excel that includes keyboard shortcuts, Paste Context Box and Paste Special Toolbox.


1. Using Keyboard Shortcut to Copy Without Changing the Format

The widely used method is using keyboard shortcut keys. This method is convenient in most cases of copy and paste for not changing the source format.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️
  • From the dataset, we need to select the cells which we need to copy. After the selection, the keyboard shortcut for a copy (Ctrl+C) is used. After copying the selected region to the clipboard, it gets a dotted boundary like the following image.

  • At this time we need to choose the cell(s) where we will paste the data.

  • Eventually, we use the paste keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+V) to get the data that we previously selected from the clipboard.

Using Keyboard shortcut to copy paste in excel without format change


2. Utilizing Paste Context Menu to Copy with Same Value and Format

To keep the formatting from the source cell, “keep source column width” is an effective option. This option is available with many other format-changing options under the context menu.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️
  • Initially, we will go for the manual keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+C to copy the required cell(s).

  • Subsequently, we will select the required cell(s) to paste to.

  • Last but not the least, from the ribbon, we will find the Paste on the drop-down icon, and we will find varieties of pasting options. Amongst them, one is “keep source column width”. It ensures the cell data, formula, format, width, and most other things are copied as they were for the source data. We see the icon of the option in the highlighted region of the picture.

Applying Paste context menu to copy paste in excel without format change

  • By clicking the aforementioned option we can copy the data in the previously chosen cell(s) automatically.

Using Paste source column width to copy paste in excel without format change

📕 Read More: How to Copy Same Value in Multiple Cells in Excel


3. Applying Paste Special Formula to Copy Without Any Change in Format

In some cases, we only require the format to copy, not the values. Paste Special gets a combination of paste options for the users of Microsoft Excel. Choosing the formula option can get the desired result.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️
  • The following picture shows the function chamber of cell D8, having the addition of D5, D6, and D7 using the SUM function. To get the sum of the new salary lane, we need to copy cell D8, using Ctrl+C first.

  • Secondly, we pick a cell where we want to copy the required formula. We click the drop-down button of the “Paste” option under “Home” The end of the context menu reveals the option of “Paste Special”. We can click it or we can use Ctrl+Alt+V to proceed to the next step.

  • Choosing the “Paste Special” directs us toward a specific dialogue box. From the paste options, we need to tick the “Formula” option, in addition, to continue to the next step by clicking OK.

Utilize Paste special formula to copy paste in excel without format change

  • Therefore, finalizing the choice in the “Paste Special Dialogue box”, will immediately paste the desired formula as the image below.

Applying Paste special format to copy paste in excel without format change

📕 Read More:  6 Ways to Copy a Formula Across Multiple Rows in Excel


4. Employing Paste Special All to Copy Paste Data into Different Worksheets

In case of pasting a particular region to another worksheet, we can make use of “Paste Special” as well. For getting all the variables, values, format, formula, etc., we can weigh the “All” option under “Paste Special” as a suitable option eventually.

⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️
  • First and foremost, we need to select the region which we will be copied to another worksheet using Ctrl+C.

  • As well as that we need to use the Ctrl+Alt+V keyboard shortcut on the cell of the desired worksheet. This will get us to the dialogue box of “Paste Special“. From the dialogue box, the option “All” is available to tick to paste all details set for the source data cells.

  • Completing the choice in the “Paste Special Dialogue Box”, we can finally paste the entire selected region from the source worksheet.

Paste special all to copy paste in excel without format change

📕 Read More: 5 Ways to Copy Unique Values to Another Worksheet in Excel

📝 Takeaways from This Article

The article allows the readers to understand the variety of options available to copy the cell(s) without changing their format.

📌  Primarily, we use copy hotkey Ctrl+C to copy. Again, using the paste hotkey Ctrl+V after that can fulfill the purpose.

📌  After copying, we can get the Context Menu. From there, we can Paste – Keep Source Width Column to paste values, formatting and all the details involved.

📌  Only copying format needs Paste Special-Formula.

📌  Paste Special-All is applicable to paste all the details involved in the selected cell to copy from.


To copy required cells without changing the format, the article focuses on the use of the paste hotkey Ctrl+V, Context Menu, and Paste Special. In case of further queries, the author requests the readers to leave a comment. The author will try their best to come up with a suitable solution. Don’t forget to visit our ExcelDen page to get more Excel-related content.

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