Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Cutting and pasting data among the cells is easy. You just click a cell, copy it, and then paste its contents - formatting and all - into another cell. In this movie, I'll show you a few different ways to copy formatting from one cell to another. The most straightforward, and frankly easiest way to copy formatting from one cell to another is to use the Format Painter. The Format Painter is activated by clicking the Format Painter button, which looks like a paintbrush here on the toolbar. If you click a cell that contains the formatting you want to copy and then click the Format Painter button and then click the cell to which you want to copy that formatting.
So you'll notice, my mouse pointer is now in the shape of a thick white cross and a paintbrush. When I click cell E1, Excel applies the formatting that I copied from here, and it also returns my mouse pointer to its original state. Before, it had the paintbrush icon, and now, it's back to its normal white cross. So I can select cells without copying the formatting over. Now let's say that I want to copy the formatting from one cell to a few other cells, and I don't want to keep going back and forth to the Format Painter button.
To do that, I can click the cell that contains the formatting I want to copy - in this case, it's just boldfaced - and then double-click the Format Painter button. I know it's a little counterintuitive to double-click a button on the toolbar, but this is the way that it's built into Excel. So, I will double-click the Format Painter button, and now I can go down to another cell. You'll see that my mouse pointer has a thick white cross with a paintbrush. Click once, and when I move it away, Excel doesn't release it from that mode. In other words, it doesn't do it once; it'll do it until I tell it to stop.
So, I will copy the formatting here, and now, because I'm done, I will press the Escape key, and when I do and move the mouse pointer over a new cell, it changes into my regular selection pointer, and I can use it normally without copying and pasting formatting. Another way to copy a format from one cell to another is to use the fill handle. So, let's say here that I want to copy the italic formatting from the cell A3, which has January, all the way down to A14, which has December. So, to do that, I click cell A3, which has the formatting I want to apply elsewhere, hover the mouse pointer over the fill handle - that's at the bottom-right corner - and you'll notice my mouse pointer changed to a four-way black cross, and now I can drag the fill handle down.
Now, when I do, Excel extends the series: January, February, March and so on, but you'll notice that it also applies the format. If all I wanted to do was apply the format, I can click the Auto Fill Options button here and click Fill Formatting Only. When I do that, Excel would restore the original values and apply only the formatting. To give you another example, I'll do it here in column B. So, I'll press Command+I to apply italics formatting, grab the fill handle, drag it down, and when I do, you see that Excel applied the formatting, and it copied the number.
If I want the formatting without replacing the numbers that were already there, click the Auto Fill Options button, click Fill Formatting Only, and Excel restores the original data. One last bit of format copying that I'll show you is how to copy a cell with borders without borders. In other words you keep all the formatting, all the values; the only thing that you get rid of is a border. So, let's look at cell A15 here, which has Total, and it also has a border - I'll click here so you can see it more clearly - all the way around it. So, if I click that cell, press Ctrl+ C to copy it, and then click this cell, which will be my destination cell, now, on the Home tab, I can click the Paste button's down arrow which is here to the right, and I can select the Without Borders option.
When I do, Excel pastes that cell's values and formatting. It just excludes any borders that happen to be applied. Copying formatting from one cell to another means you don't have to recall every change you made, or reapply the changes if you do. If you remember just one thing from this movie, please remember the Format Painter toolbar button and how you can use it to copy formatting from one cell to another.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.