Mastering the Art of Formula Copying in Excel_ A Step-by-Step Guide to Boost Your Productivity

October 16, 2023 799 views

Excel is a powerful tool millions of individuals worldwide use to analyze and manage vast amounts of data. With its myriad of features and capabilities, Excel can be quite complex and challenging to navigate for many users. Some users may have to input complex formulas within their spreadsheets which can be time-consuming and prone to human errors, and they need to learn how to copy recipes in Excel shortcuts.

In this article, we will introduce straightforward methods for users to copy formulas quickly in Excel.


Excel is a potent tool for anyone who needs to work with data. One of the most valuable features of Excel is the ability to copy and paste formulas. This feature can save you a lot of time, but you will learn how to copy and paste formulas in Excel.

Fortunately, there are several quick copy-paste options available in Excel that make this process a lot easier. In this article, we'll look at some of the most common ways to copy and paste formulas in Excel so that you can get the most out of this powerful spreadsheet software.

Part 1.What are the different types Of paste Options in Excel?

1. Paste Option

When working with Excel spreadsheets, you may need to copy a formula from one cell to another. Fortunately, Excel provides several options for copying formulas, each with benefits and uses.

To copy a formula in Excel, select the cell containing the formula and press Ctrl + C on your keyboard. Next, select the cell where you want to copy the recipe and choose one of the following paste options.

2. Paste Formula Option

To copy a formula in Excel, select the cell with the recipe you want to copy and press Ctrl+C on your keyboard or right-click and select "Copy." The paste formula option helps to copy the value from one cell to another using the Excel formula.

After copying the formula, you can choose from several paste options to apply it to other cells.

Choose Paste Options

Choose Paste Options

One of the most useful options is the

"Paste Formulas" option, which only duplicates the formulas without any formatting or design elements.

 Enter The Paste Option

Enter The Paste Option

This is particularly helpful if you want to maintain a consistent format and style for the cells to which you're applying the formula. So next time you need to use a recipe for multiple cells, try the different paste options and see which works best for your needs.

3. Paste Formula And Number Formatting

One of the most helpful paste options is the "Formulas and Number Formatting" option, as mentioned in the background context. This option duplicates the original cell's formulas and the number formatting, ensuring that the procedure in the destination cell retains the same number format as the original cell.

4. Paste Special Option

The "Paste Special" dialog box can be accessed by clicking the dropdown arrow under the Paste button on the Excel ribbon. Alternatively, quickly open the dialog box quickly using the keyboard shortcut Alt + E + S.

Copy The Formula from Dialogue Box

Copy The Formula from Dialogue Box

Once you open the dialog box, select the appropriate paste option from the list and click OK to perform the paste operation.

Choose The Paste Option From Paste Special

Choose The Paste Option From Paste Special

To Know More Checkout:Special Paste Option

5. Additional Paste Options

Besides the default paste option that copies everything, you can use several additional paste options in Excel's Home tab under the Paste button's dropdown list.

Skip Blanks

Skip Blank option lets you copy only the non-blank cells of the copied range. This paste option can avoid copying blank cells, throwing off your formulas, and creating calculation errors. Suppose your worksheet contains non-contiguous data with empty cells, such as a monthly sales report with missing days or regions. In that case, you can use this paste option to copy only the filled cells and consolidate the data easily.

Link Option

The link option pastes a link to the original cell instead of copying its values or formulas. This paste option is helpful when you want to reference a cell from one sheet to another or workbook and update the discount automatically. For example, you can use this option to link a budget summary worksheet to a sales report worksheet and see the latest sales numbers reflected in your budget calculations.

Picture Option

The picture option pastes the copied cells or ranges as a picture, which is useful when showing the data as a chart, diagram, or image. This paste option preserves the original cells' formatting, but you cannot edit the data anymore. Therefore, you should use this option when you don't need to modify the data, such as creating a visual dashboard or slideshow.

Part 2.How To Copy Formula in Excel

  • Repeating Formulas Using the Fill Handle

The Fill Handle is a simple and efficient tool that can help fill in a series of values with little effort. It helps replicate formulas to multiple cells by dragging the fill handle. Here's how to copy formulas in Excel using the Fill Handle.

Step 1: Select the cell containing the formula you want to copy. Position the cursor over the bottom right corner of the selected cell until the cursor changes to a black plus sign (+).

Choose The Cell you Want To Copy

Choose The Cell you Want To Copy

Step 2: Click and drag the cursor down to the last cell requiring the formula, then release the mouse button. Finally, the procedure should be automatically populated across all the chosen cells.

Copy The Cell

Copy The Cell

It is essential to note that when copying formulas using the Fill Handle, Excel identifies any value that needs to be changed based on the row or column it is in.

For instance, if you copy a formula from cell A1 to cell A2, the original recipe may be "=$B$4+B1." However, when copying to cell A2, Excel will change the formula to "=B5+$B$4." It's important to double-check these changes to ensure that Excel has made them correctly.

  • Using Copy And Paste

As you work with Excel, you likely must repeat the same formulas across different cells. This is where the copy-and-paste function comes in handy. Fortunately, Excel makes it easy to copy recipes across various cells. Here's how to do it:

Select the cell containing the recipe you want to copy.

Hover your mouse over the bottom-right corner of the selected cell until you see a small black plus (+) sign.

Click and drag the small black plus sign down or across the cells where you want to copy the formula.

Release your mouse button, and the formula will be copied to the selected cells.

Double-check that the formula is copied correctly in each cell to ensure the accuracy of your data.

It's important to note that when you copy a formula, Excel updates the references in the formula based on the relative position of the cells. For example, if you copy a formula from cell A1 to cell A2, any reference to cell B1 will change to B2 in the copied formula. This feature is handy when copying the formula to an entire Column or another sheet.

Copying By Absolute Or Mixed Cell References

There are two types of cell references in Excel: absolute and relative, based on principles of copying and pasting exact formulas without changing cell references. When you copy a formula, you can choose to either copy the formula using absolute references or use mixed references.

To copy a formula using absolute cell references, highlight the cell that contains the formula you want to copy. Next, click on the cell reference in the formula bar and press the F4 key. This will change the cell reference from relative to absolute. After that, drag the formula across the desired cells to copy it, and the absolute cell references will remain the same.

Alternatively, you can use mixed cell references when copying a formula in Excel. A mixed reference means that one part of the cell reference is absolute, and the other is relative. For example, if you want to keep a row number constant while copying a formula across columns, you can use a mixed cell reference. To create a mixed cell reference, press the F4 key to toggle between relative, absolute, and mixed cell references.

How To Copy Formula In Excel Shortcuts

Copying formulas in Excel shortcut is one feature that can make your life easier and save you a lot of time. In this tutorial, we will guide you step-by-step on how to copy formulas in Excel.

It's that simple! By following these four steps, you can easily copy and paste formulas in Excel to entire columns to save yourself valuable time and effort. Look at the figures below to visually guide you through each step.

Figure 1: Select the cell you want to copy

Copy The Formula You Want To Paste

Copy The Formula You Want To Paste


Figure 2: Position the mouse pointer over the lower right corner of the cell.

You can Choose Entire Column

You can Choose Entire Column


Figure 3: Click and hold the left mouse button.

Enter The Formula

Enter The Formula


Figure 4: Release the mouse button.

You Can Copy The Formula To Another Sheet

You Can Copy The Formula To Another Sheet


By following this easy-to-use guide, we hope you'll find copying formulas in Excel a breeze. Remember, if you're using a Mac, use the "fn" key instead of pressing "Ctrl." Happy calculating!

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Why is a double click to copy a formula not working in Excel?

Double-clicking to copy a formula in Excel is a convenient feature many users rely on to save time and effort when working with large data sets. However, you may have experienced an issue where this feature is not working as expected. In this case, there are several possible reasons why this may be happening.

Firstly, the worksheet or workbook may be protected, preventing specific actions such as copying or pasting. To check whether this is the case, try going to the "Review" tab in the Excel ribbon and see if "Protect Workbook" or "Protect Worksheet" is ticked. If so, you may need to unprotect the sheet or workbook before using the double-click feature.


In today's digital age, Microsoft Excel has become a staple for professionals across numerous industries. The software's ability to manipulate and organize large amounts of data makes it an indispensable tool in the workplace.

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