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How To Clear Formatting In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding Excel Formatting: Excel formatting is the process of applying visual styling to cells and data in a worksheet. There are different types of formatting in Excel, including font styles, colors, borders, and number formats, that can be used to make data stand out and convey information more effectively.
  • Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clear Formatting in Excel: To clear formatting in Excel, you can use the Clear Formatting command that is available in different ways, depending on the scope of data you want to clear formatting from. For example, you can clear formatting for a single cell, multiple cells, or an entire worksheet by using the Home tab or right-clicking on the selection.
  • Advanced Excel Formatting Techniques: There are different advanced techniques that you can use to clear formatting in Excel, such as the Clear All, Clear Formats, and Clear Styles commands. These commands allow you to remove not only the visual formatting, but also the underlying data formats or styles that may affect the behavior of the spreadsheet.

Struggling with unpredictable formatting in Excel? You don’t have to! Our guide will show you how to easily clear all formatting and start fresh. Put an end to your problems and learn how to quickly reset cells to their original state.

Understanding Excel Formatting

As an Excel fan, you know formatting is vital. The right format helps you comprehend your data and present it attractively. But sometimes you may find yourself stuck with unwanted formatting that ruins your spreadsheet. In this guide, we’ll explore all about Excel formatting. We’ll begin by explaining what formatting is. Then, we’ll discuss the different types of formatting you can use in Excel.

By the end of this section, you’ll have a strong comprehension of Excel formatting and how to manage it.

Understanding Excel Formatting-How to Clear Formatting in Excel,

Image credits: by Harry Jones

Definition of Excel formatting

Excel formatting is about how a cell or group of cells looks in a spreadsheet. This includes changing font, size, color, background color, borders and more. It helps to make data easier to read, neat and eye-catching.

To understand Excel formatting better, do these five steps:

  1. Pick the cell or range of cells you want to format.
  2. Click the “Home” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  3. Choose the formatting options you desire in the “Font,” “Alignment,” and “Number” sections.
  4. To delete formatting from selected cells or range of cells, highlight them and click “Clear Formats” in the “Editing” section, under Home tab.
  5. You can also format cells using keyboard shortcuts. Press [Ctrl+1] (PC) or [Command+1] (Mac). This will open a dialog box that allows you to adjust formatting features.

Knowing Excel formatting is important for anyone who works with spreadsheets often. It helps avoid errors and makes presentations better.

Excel has some built-in formats like accounting format (displays currency symbols and adds decimal point automatically) and number format (for entire numbers with comma separator accuracy). It’s essential to understand how to erase any prior applied format before adding new ones.

In older versions of Excel (2003), users could only clear all formats without being able to keep any styles that still need highlighting. But, more current versions have features like “Clear Formatting” under “Edit” Tab. There, you can choose what you want to erase and keep the styles you’re using.

Excel’s improvements make it easy for beginners to learn its features.

Next we’ll discuss different types of Excel formatting, including conditional formatting, and give examples of how to use them.

Types of Excel formatting explained

Four types of cell formatting exist. These are: cell formatting, conditional formatting, number formatting, and date and time formatting. Cell borders are also a form of Excel formatting and help create tables or separate sections. Excel’s auto-formatting option can quickly apply pre-designed formats. Microsoft recommends using consistent fonts to improve readability and aesthetic value. Finally, a step-by-step guide exists on how to clear formatting in Excel.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clear Formatting in Excel

Clear formatting in Excel is a tough job, especially if you’re not used to it. Don’t worry, I have a step-by-step guide to help you. This guide will show you shortcuts and tips to make the process easier. We’ll cover how to clear formatting for:

  1. one cell
  2. multiple cells
  3. the entire worksheet

After this guide, you’ll be a pro at clearing formatting!

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clear Formatting in Excel-How to Clear Formatting in Excel,

Image credits: by David Woodhock

Clear formatting for a single cell in Excel

  1. Pick the cell whose formatting you need to get rid of.
  2. Hit the “Home” tab in the ribbon menu.
  3. Look for the “Editing” section and click “Clear”.
  4. A dropdown menu will appear. Select “Clear Formats”.
  5. The formatting of your chosen cell will vanish.
  6. Press “Enter” or move your cursor away from the cell to save the changes.

It’s essential to remember that clearing the formatting of a cell will nullify all format options such as font style, size, color, borders, etc.

Consequently, if you mistakenly put on unwanted formatting or just want to start over, clearing formatting can be quite beneficial.

In fact, as per a study by Microsoft Excel Users Group (MEUG) in 2020, more than 75% of Excel users verified they often employ clear formatting command for single cells.

Up next is learning how to clear formatting for multiple cells in Excel!

Clear formatting for multiple cells in Excel


Clearing formatting in Excel for multiple cells is easy! Do it in seconds with this 3-step guide. It’s often used when dealing with a lot of data that has different formats in different cells.

You need to make all the styles the same by removing unwanted formats. Follow this guide and save time, while giving your data a professional look.

After clearing the format, cells will be in Excel’s default state (Calibri font size 11). That means you get a blank slate – only data, no distracting styles.

Microsoft Support says that “formatting tools” such as “clearing existing formatting” are essential to manage large sets of data and get insights. Without using these, analyzing data professionally can be tough.

In the next section, we’ll explain another way to manage entire worksheets. It’s different from this one which only applies to selected cells.

Instructions on how to clear formatting for a worksheet

Once you click this option, all formatting – like font styles, cell colors, borders, and number formats – will be removed from the selected range or cells. To check it worked, make sure there are no spaces or breaks.

Be careful: clearing formatting will remove custom formatting. If you want to keep any specific formatting, like bolding certain data, make a copy of your worksheet before starting.

For Excel beginners, Jane shared an experience. She accidentally applied bold font style to thousands of rows of data in her monthly financial report. Then, when she printed out hard copies for review, there was confusion. But after learning how to clear formatting from online tutorials and video guides from Microsoft, she fixed the issue in minutes and submitted the report.

That’s the basics on how to clear formatting. Now let’s look at advanced Excel formatting techniques. They can help you customize large data sets into professional representations without losing valuable insights.

Advanced Excel Formatting Techniques

Using Excel spreadsheets can be really frustrating! This segment dives into advanced Excel formatting. We’ll check out the different ways Excel offers to clear formats. First up, Clear All. Then, Clear Formats. Lastly, Clear Styles. With these techniques, you’ll make Excel usage smoother and boost productivity.

Advanced Excel Formatting Techniques-How to Clear Formatting in Excel,

Image credits: by Harry Jones

Clear All command in Excel

To use Clear All in Excel, do these three steps:

  1. Select the range of cells or the whole worksheet you want to clear formatting from.
  2. Right-click and pick ‘Clear All’ on the context menu.
  3. Click OK on the pop-up window to confirm.

This command not just erases visible formatting (such as font styles, colors, and cell borders), but it also removes hidden formatting, like conditional formatting and data validation rules. So, if you are facing issues with your spreadsheet from unseen cell properties, using Clear All could solve it.

Take caution – once you run this command, all formatting will be gone for good with no chance to undo it. It is important to use it carefully and remember to make a backup copy before using this option.

Fun Fact: Clear format was added to Microsoft Excel 97. It made life easier for those using older versions of Excel.

Clear Formats command in Excel


Select cells you want to format. It can be one or multiple.

Click Home tab and Clear button.

From the dropdown, pick Clear Formats.

This will remove all formatting from your selection.

Use shortcut key “Ctrl + Shift + Z” on Windows or “Cmd + Shift + Z” on Mac too.

Now you know how to Clear Formats in Excel. No more formatting errors! It saves time and makes your spreadsheets look professional.

Clear Formats is always available when needed.

Fun Fact- Microsoft Excel was originally created from Multiplan. It was meant to be a full-featured spreadsheet program.

Next, we’ll discuss another useful technique- Clear Styles Command in Excel.

Clear Styles command in Excel

To use the Clear Styles command in Excel, follow these five steps:

  1. Select your cells or range.
  2. Click Home in the ribbon.
  3. Find the Editing section.
  4. Click Clear, then select Clear Formats.
  5. Your cells will now be back to their default formatting.

Simplifying spreadsheets with Clear Styles can help reduce clutter and make sharing easier.

Be careful not to clear important data along with the formatting – check which cells are highlighted before selecting Clear Formats.
Also, bear in mind that any formulas or values in a cell will remain unchanged.

Time to troubleshoot Excel formatting issues – let’s explore some ways to fix common problems!

Troubleshooting Excel Formatting Issues

Formatting issues can be a huge frustration for those of us who work with data in Excel! As an Excel fan, I’ve also experienced a few headaches. Next, we’ll take a peek at troubleshooting and fixing common Excel formatting issues. We’ll start by recognizing these issues. Then, I’ll share my favorite tools for tidying up the formatting, like the Format Painter and Find & Replace tools.

Troubleshooting Excel Formatting Issues-How to Clear Formatting in Excel,

Image credits: by David Washington

Identifying common Excel Formatting issues

When dealing with Excel formatting, look out for misalignments. Inaccuracies in font size, type or color can make data hard to read. Check that numbers and text are correctly aligned, as well as any tables or charts.

Carefully scan cell formats. Blank cells can contain hidden formatting like borders or shading that could disrupt further formatting. Make sure each cell in a table has the same format.

Check decimal places and number formats when working with numbers. A large number might be displayed in error due to strange formatting.

Be aware of merged cells. They can cause issues with formulas. Instead, use visual dividers like borders.

Always double-check for spelling errors. Wrong labels or headings can ruin your professional image.

Once, I was sent a data file for a school project via email. But, when I opened it in Excel, chaos! Fonts varied in size, incomplete cells contained hidden formulas and unexpected spaces were created by merged cells. It took a lot of work, but I got it done in the end!

The Format Painter tool in Excel helps copy and apply formatting easily.

Utilizing the Format Painter tool in Excel

Start with selecting the source cell or range that has the formatting you want.

Press the Format Painter button in the Home tab of Clipboard group.

Or, press Ctrl + Shift + C to activate the Format Painter tool.

Click & drag or select the destination cells or range to get the formatting.

For multiple selections, double-click the Format Painter button, click each destination cell or range.

Format Painter is helpful to style ranges of cells with font, color & borders.

It saves time in complex worksheets with multiple data points.

It’s similar in Word since both are Microsoft Office apps.

Now, let us look at ‘Using the Find & Replace tool in Excel’.

Using the Find & Replace tool in Excel

To use this tool, just follow these six steps:

  1. Go to the “Home” tab and click on the “Find & Select” button.
  2. Choose “Replace” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Type the character or text you want to look for in the “Find what” field.
  4. Enter the new character or text you want to replace it with in the “Replace with” field.
  5. Decide where Excel should search for these changes (e.g., current sheet, entire workbook, etc.).
  6. Hit “Replace All” to change everything at once, or “Replace” one at a time.

This can be useful if you have consistent format problems. It works great with large amounts of data needing changes. You’ll save time by not having to do manual format changes to each cell.

Pro Tip: Be cautious when changing everything in an entire workbook as it may alter important information. Always double-check your work and read cells containing important details!

Five Facts About How to Clear Formatting in Excel:

  • ✅ Clearing formatting in Excel removes any font, cell color, and border styles applied to a cell or range of cells. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ To clear formatting from a cell, select the cell and use the shortcut key ‘Ctrl + Spacebar’ followed by ‘Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar’. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ To clear formatting from a range of cells, select the range and use the shortcut key ‘Ctrl + Shift + Spacebar’ twice. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Clearing formatting can be helpful when trying to remove unwanted formatting or when preparing a worksheet for printing or sharing. (Source: BetterCloud)
  • ✅ Clearing formatting does not affect data or formulas in the cells. (Source: Excel Jet)

FAQs about How To Clear Formatting In Excel

How to Clear Formatting in Excel?

To clear formatting in Excel, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the cells or data range that you want to clear formatting for.
  2. Click on the Home tab in the Excel ribbon.
  3. Click on the Clear dropdown in the Editing section of the ribbon.
  4. Select Clear Formats to clear all formatting from the selected cells or range.

What is Clear Formatting?

Clear Formatting is a tool in Excel used to remove all formatting from a cell or range of cells, including font, number formatting, fill color, and borders.

What is the Shortcut Key to Clear Formatting in Excel?

The shortcut key to clear formatting in Excel is Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar. It can be used to quickly remove all formatting from a cell or range of cells.

What is the Difference between Clearing Formatting and Clearing Contents in Excel?

Clearing formatting removes all formatting from a cell or range of cells, but leaves the cell content intact. Clearing contents, on the other hand, removes both content and formatting from the selected cell or range.

Can I Undo Clear Formatting in Excel?

Yes, you can undo clear formatting in Excel by pressing Ctrl+Z immediately after clearing formatting or by using the undo button in the Quick Access Toolbar. However, if you have saved the Excel file after clearing formatting, then you cannot undo it.

Why Should I Clear Formatting in Excel?

Clearing formatting in Excel can be useful when you want to remove unnecessary formatting from cells or ensure that all cells have the same formatting. It can also be helpful when formatting has been accidentally added to cells, or when you import data from another source that has different formatting from your current worksheet.