How to copy formula in Excel: down a column, without changing references, etc.

In this tutorial, you will learn a few different ways of copying formulas in Excel - how to copy formula down a column, to all of the selected cells, copy a formula exactly without changing cell references or formatting, and more.

Copying formulas in Excel is one of the easiest tasks that is usually done in a mouse click. I say "usually" because there can be very specific cases that require special tricks, like copying a range of formulas without changing cell references or entering the same formula in multiple non-adjacent cells.

Luckily, Microsoft Excel offers many ways to do the same task, and it is true for copying formulas. In this tutorial, we are going to discuss different ways to copy formulas in Excel so that you could choose the one best suited for your task.

How to copy formula down a column

Microsoft Excel provide a really quick way to copy a formula down a column. You just do the following:

  1. Enter a formula in the top cell.
  2. Select the cell with the formula, and hover the mouse cursor over a small square at the lower right-hand corner of the cell, which is called the Fill handle. As you do this, the cursor will change to a thick black cross.
  3. Hold and drag the fill handle down the column over the cells where you want to copy the formula.

Drag the formula down to copy it to other cells in a column.

In a similar manner, you can drag formula into adjacent cells to the right, to the left or upwards.

If the formula includes relative cell references (without the $ sign), they will automatically change based on a relative position of rows and columns. So, after copying the formula, verify that the cell references have got adjusted properly and produce the result that you want. If necessary, switch between absolute, relative and mixed references by using the F4 key.

In the above example, to make sure the formula was copied correctly, let's select some cell in column C, say C4, and view the cell reference in the formula bar. As you can see in the screenshot below, the formula is all right - relative to row 4, exactly as it should be:
The formula is copied down the column, and the cell references are adjusted properly.

How to copy a formula down without copying formatting

Copying a formula down by dragging the fill handle not only copies the formula, but also the source cell formatting such as font or background color, currency symbols, the number of displayed decimal places, etc. In most cases, this works just fine, but sometimes it can mess up the existing formats in cells where the formula is being copied to. A common example is overwriting alternate row shading like in the following screenshot.
Dragging the fill handle copies a formula and the source cell formatting.

For prevent overwriting the existing cell formatting, drag the fill handle as demonstrated above, release it, click the Auto Fill Options drop-down menu, and select Fill Without Formatting.
Use the Fill Without Formatting option to copy a formula but not formatting.

Copy formula to the entire column

As you've just seen, the fill handle makes copying formulas in Excel really easy. But what if you need to copy a formula down a ten-hundred-line sheet? Dragging the formula over hundreds of rows does not look like a good idea. Luckily, Microsoft Excel provides a couple of quick solutions for this case as well.

Double-click the plus sign to fill the whole column

To apply the formula to the entire column, double-click the plus sign instead of dragging it. For those who have skipped the first section of this tutorial, the detailed steps follow below.

To copy an Excel formula to the whole column, do the following:

  1. Input your formula in the top cell.
  2. Position the cursor to the lower right corner of the cell with the formula, wait until it turns into the plus sign, and then double-click the plus.

Double-click the plus sign to copy a formula to the entire column.

Note. Double-clicking the plus sign copies the formula down as far as there is any data to the left. In other words, as long as you have row headers or any other data in any of the left-hand columns, Excel continues to copy the formula. As soon as an empty row occurs, the auto fill stops. So, if your worksheet contains any gaps, you will have to repeat the above process to copy the formula below an empty row:
Double-clicking the plus sign copies the formula down until the first empty row.

Create an Excel table to copy a formula to all cells in a column automatically

Among other great features of Excel tables such as predefined styles, sorting, filtering and banded rows, automatically calculated columns is what makes an Excel table a truly wonderful tool for analyzing groups of related data.

By entering a formula into one cell in a table column (just any cell, not necessarily the top one), you create a calculated column and have your formula instantly copied to all other cells in that column. Unlike the fill handle, Excel tables have no problem with copying the formula across the entire column even if the table has one or more empty rows:
To apply the formula to all cells in a column, convert a range of cells into an Excel table.

To convert a range of cells to an Excel table, simply select all the cells and press Ctrl + T. If you prefer a visual way, select the range, go to the Insert tab > Tables group on the Excel ribbon, and click the Table button.

Tip. If you don't really want an Excel table in your worksheet, to can create it temporary, to make the work with formulas easier, and then you can convert the table back to a usual range in a second. Just right-click the table and choose Table > Convert to Range in the context menu.

Copy a formula to non-adjacent cells / ranges

It goes without saying that the fill handle is the fastest way to copy formula in Excel. But what if you want to copy your Excel formula in non-contiguous cells or beyond the end of the source data? Just use the old good copy & paste way:

  1. Click the cell with the formula to select it.
  2. Press Ctrl + C to copy the formula.
  3. Select a cell or a range of cells where you want to paste the formula (to select non-adjacent ranges, press and hold the Ctrl key).
  4. Press Ctrl + V to paste the formula.
  5. Press Enter to complete the pasted formulas.

Copying a formula to non-adjacent cells

Note. The copy/paste shortcuts copy the formula and formatting. To copy the formula without formatting, choose an appropriate Paste option on the ribbon or in the right-click menu, as demonstrated in Copying an Excel formula without formatting.

Enter a formula into multiple cells with a single key stroke (Ctrl + Enter)

In situations when you need to input the same formula in more than one cell on a worksheet, adjacent or non-adjacent ones, this method can be a time-saver.

  1. Select all the cells where you want to enter the formula. To select non-contiguous cells, press and hold the Ctrl key.
  2. Press F2 to enter the edit mode.
  3. Input your formula in one cell, and press Ctrl + Enter instead of Enter. That's it! The formula will get copied to all of the selected cells, and Excel will adjust relative cell references accordingly.

Enter an Excel formula into multiple cells with a single key stroke.

Tip. You can use this method to enter any data, not just formulas, in multiple cells at a time. A few other techniques are described in the following tutorial: How to enter the same data into all selected cells at a time.

How to copy an Excel formula but not formatting

As you already know, when copying a formula down a column in Excel, you can use the Fill Without Formatting option that lets you copy the formula but keep the existing formatting of the destination cells. Excel's Copy & Paste feature offers even more flexibility with regard to paste options.

  1. Select the sell containing the formula.
  2. Copy that cell by pressing Ctrl + C. Alternatively, right click the cell and select Copy from the context menu, or click the Copy button on the Home tab > Clipboard.
  3. Select all the cells to which you want to copy the formula.
  4. Right-click the selected cells and choose Formulas under Paste Options:
    Copying a formula but not formatting

For more paste options, click the arrow below the Paste button on the ribbon. For example, you can select Formulas & Number Formatting to paste only the formula and the number formatting such as percent format, currency format, and the like:
Copying a formula and number formatting

Tip. If you are not sure which paste option works best for you, hover the mouse over different icons to see a preview of this or that paste option.

Copy formula in Excel without changing references

Excel formulas rarely occur in a spreadsheet in solitude. In most cases, you enter a formula in one cell, and then copy it to other cells in the same column or row, to perform the same calculation on a group of data. And if your formula contains relative cell references (without $), Excel automatically adjusts them so that each formula operates on data on its own row or column. Most of the time, this is exactly what you want. For example, if you have the formula =A1*2 in cell B1, and you copy this formula to cell B3, the formula will change to =A3*2.

But what if you want Excel to copy the formula exactly, without changing the cell references along the way? Depending on your particular task, choose one of the following solutions.

Copy or move a single formula without changing cell references

If you need to copy or move just one formula, making an exact copy is easy.

  1. Select the cell with the formula you want to copy.
  2. Select the formula in the formula bar using the mouse, and press Ctrl + C to copy it. If you want to move the formula, press Ctrl + X to cut it.
    Copy a single formula without changing cell references.
  3. Press the Esc key to exit the formula bar.
  4. Select the destination cell and press Ctl + V to paste the formula there.

Alternatively, you can enter the editing mode and copy the formula in the cell as text:

  1. Select a cell with the formula.
  2. Press F2 (or double-click the cell) to enter the editing mode.
  3. Select the formula in the cell using the mouse, and press Ctrl + C to copy it.
    Enter the editing mode and copy the formula in the cell as text.
  4. Select the destination cell, and press Ctl+V. This will paste the formula exactly, without changing the cell references, because the formula was copied as text.
Tip. To quickly copy a formula from the above cell with no reference changed, select the cell where you want to paste the formula and press Ctrl + '.

Copy a range of formulas without changing cell references

To move or copy a range of Excel formulas so that no cell references are changed, use one of the following methods.

Method 1. Use absolute or mixed cell references

If you need to make an exact copy of formulas with relative cell references (like A1), the best way would be changing them to absolute references ($A$1) to fix the reference to a given cell, so that it remains static no matter where the formula moves. In other cases, you may need to use mixed cell references ($A1 or A$1) to lock either a column or row. Doesn't make much sense so far? Okay, let's consider the following example.

Supposing, you have a table that calculates the fruit prices in EUR based on the USD price in column B and the exchange rate in cell C2:
An Excel formula with a relative cell reference

As you can see in the screenshot above, the formula includes an absolute cell reference ($C$2) to fix the exchange rate to cell C2, and a relative cell reference to cell B5 because you want this reference to adjust for each row. And this approach works well as long as the formulas remain in column C.

But let's see what happens if you need, say, to move the EUR prices from column C to column F. If you copy the formulas in a usual way by copying/pasting the cells, the formula from cell C5 (=B5*$C$2) will change to =D5*$C$2 when pasted in cell F5, making your calculations all wrong!

To fix this, just change a relative reference (B5) to a mixed reference $B5 (absolute column and relative row). By putting the dollar sign ($) in front of the column letter you anchor the reference to column B, no matter where the formula moves.

And now, if you copy or move the formulas from column D to column F, or any other column, the column reference won't change because you locked it by the dollar sign ($B5).

Use absolute or mixed cell references to copy the formula without changing references.

The concept of Excel cell references may be difficult to grasp from the outset, but trust me it's worth your time and effort because it will save you much more time in the long run. For example, see how you can calculate the entire table with a single formula by using mixed cell references.

However, if you already have a ton of formulas with relative cell references in your Excel sheet, and you need to quickly make an exact copy of those formulas but you don't feel like you can get the references right, one of the following methods could be a solution.

Method 2. Copy Excel formulas without changing references via Notepad

  1. Enter the formula view mode by pressing the Ctrl + ` shortcut, or by using any other method described in How to show formulas in Excel.
  2. Select all the cells with the formulas you want to copy or move.
  3. Press Ctrl + C to copy the formulas, or Ctrl + X to cut them. Use the latter shortcut if you want to move formulas to a new location.
    Enter the formula view mode and copy the formulas.
  4. Open Notepad or any other text editor and press Ctrl + V to paste the formulas there. Then press Ctrl + A to select all the formulas, and Ctrl + C to copy them as text.
  5. In your Excel worksheet, select the upper-left cell where you want to paste the formulas, and press Ctrl + V.


  • You can paste the formulas only in the same worksheet where your original formulas are located, unless the references include the sheet name, otherwise the formulas will be broken.
  • The worksheet should be in formula view mode. To verify this, go to the Formulas tab > Formula Auditing group, and check if the Show Formulas button is toggled on.
  • After pasting the formulas, press Ctrl + ` to toggle off the formula view mode.

Method 3. Copy formulas exactly by using Excel's Find and Replace

To copy a range of Excel formulas without changing their cell references, you can use the Excel Find and Replace feature in the following way.

  1. Select the cells with the formulas that you want to copy.
  2. On the Home tab, go to the Editing group, and click Find & Select > Replace… Or, simply press Ctrl + H, which is the shortcut for launching the Find & Replace dialog in Excel.
  3. In the Find & Replace dialog window, type the equal sign (=) in the Find what box. In the Replace with box, input some symbol or a string of characters that is not used in any of your formulas, like ', # or \.
    Replace the equal sign with some other character to turn the formulas into text strings.

    The purpose of this step is to turn formulas into text strings, which will prevent Excel from changing the cell references during the copy process.

    Note. Do not use an asterisk (*) or question mark (?) for replacement, since these are wildcard characters in Excel and using them would make later steps more difficult.
  4. Click the Replace All button and close the Find and Replace dialog. All the formulas in the selected range will turn into text strings:
    The formulas turned into text strings are copied without changing references.
  5. Now, you can select any cells, press Ctrl + C to copy them, select the top cell in the current worksheet where you want to paste the formulas, and press Ctrl + V. Since Excel does not interpret the formulas without the equal sign as formulas, they will be copied exactly, without changing references.
  6. Use Find & Replace again to reverse the change. Select both regions, with the original formulas and copied ones (to select non-adjacent regions, press and hold Ctrl). Press Ctrl + H to open the Find & Replace dialog. This time, enter the back slash (\) (or any other character you used for the first replacement) in the Find what box, and = in the Replace with box, and click the Replace All button. Done!

Shortcuts to copy Excel formula to other cells

1. Copy a formula down

Ctrl + D - Copy a formula from the cell above and adjusts the cell references.

For example, if you have a formula in cell A1 and you want to copy it to cell A2, select A2 and press Ctrl + D.

Press Ctrl + D to copy a formula from the cell above.

2. Copy a formula to the right

Ctrl + R - Copy a formula from the cell to the left and adjusts the cell references.

For example, if you have a formula in cell A2 and you want to copy it to cell B2, select B2 and press Ctrl + R.

Press Ctrl + R to copy a formula from the cell to the left.

Tip. Both of the above shortcuts can be used to copy formulas to multiple cells too. The trick is to select both the source cell and target cells before pressing the shortcut. For example, if you want to copy the formula from A1 to the next 9 rows, select cells A1:A10 and press Ctrl + D.

3. Copy a formula down exactly

Ctrl + ' - Copies a formula from the cell above to the currently selected cell exactly and leaves the cell in edit mode.

This is a quick way to make an exact copy of a formula without changing cell references. For example, to copy a formula from cell A1 to A2 so that no references are changed, select A2 and press Ctrl + '.

Note. Don't confuse the shortcut Ctrl + ' (Ctrl + single quote) that exactly copies a formula from the cell above with Ctrl + ` (Ctrl + grave accent key) that activates show formulas mode in Excel.

Press Ctrl + ' to copy a formula from the cell above without changing cell references.

Well, this is all I have to say about copying formulas in Excel. If you know some other methods to quickly move or copy formula in Excel sheets, please do share. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

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110 responses to "How to copy formula in Excel: down a column, without changing references, etc."

  1. Kavita says:

    I have stuck with this, I want to know which formula to use to get the total CRE and their Status
    CRE Name Status
    A Balance
    B Balance
    A Admission
    A Admission
    C Admission
    B Balance
    A Balance
    A Balance
    C Balance
    C Admission
    A Admission
    B Admission
    B Admission
    A Admission
    I want the status in the format of
    CRE Name Admission Balance Total Admission
    Kindly help.

  2. Erik says:

    I am trying to track training for multiple people. I have a summary sheet with everyone on it and all modules listed. Then I have individual sheets for each individual. I want to fill in the individual sheets and have that auto fill in the summary sheet. I have used a formula like this ='OLD MODULES TO NEW'!B4. Is there an easy way to drag down and auto copy this? I want the sheet name to change on every line, but the cell reference will stay the same.

  3. hadi says:


    Copy the cell to another cell by pressing the button

    thank you

  4. Sam says:

    The clearest tutorial on Excel I've come across - Thanks!

  5. S.Narasimhan says:

    Dear Sir,
    I want to drag a formula in excel which should refer to alternate cells and not continuous cell references.
    Example. Cell A1 has a formula referring to data in Cell F6.
    Dragging the formula to Cell A2 should refer to F8 and not F7 and so on.
    One way is to drag the formula as it is and delete the alternate rows.
    Is there any way the formula can be modified to comply to the above requirement.
    Thanks & Regards

    • Syed says:


      If you want to dont want to change cell while pasting formula then make a formula like this for an example. Must use ($cell$column). Example below.

      Suppose want A1=100, B1=5, and B1=200 and want to calculate with B1 cell for both A1&A2 then formula will be like this..

      Result in D1 cell: =A1*$B$1, in cell D2 it will be =A2*$B$1.

      Hope you got it..

  6. prasannakumar says:

    please give me the right way to create the formula for calculate a cell value from another two book(files)in a new book and then drag it

  7. Debi says:

    Is there a way to copy a formula that contains a range that keeps the range intact? For example:


    Then I want to copy that to the next row down and have it be:


    When I copy the formula and paste, all it does is increment by one, so I end up with:


    I am trying to summarize weekly data in a different section of the spreadsheet.


  8. Manusankar says:

    Please give me a solution for the below issue.

    I need to copy all the different formulas altogether from some specific area and paste these formulas to another area. While pasting, it should paste only the formulas (all formulas) from the copied area and other cells which have numbers should not change.

    For eg:
    I have some data on column A and C. The cells A3, A8, A24 etc.. have different formulas. I need to get these formulas altogether on column C at the same rows (C3, C8, C24, etc..). But the other cells on column C should not be changed. Is there any way, other than copying one by one formulas?

  9. Clo says:

    OMG THANK YOU SO MUCH !!!! though I feel stupid lol BUT THANKS !!!!

  10. Mona says:

    Ok so here is my formula:

    I am trying to copy the formula down several rows but it changes the 2 and 53, and I need the letters to change. I hope that was clear enough. Thanks!

  11. Lydia says:


    I have a large amount of spreadsheets with amounts aleary in the cells. I need to add 60% to each cell amount. I have tried using the F4 formula and dragging it down but it is changing the original amount in the cell to the amount of the cell above.

    Can you please help

    • Hello Lydia,

      Most likely it happens because of incorrect use of absolute and relative cell references. Basically, if you have a percentage (60%) entered in some cell and you refer to that cell in your formula, you should fix the reference using the $ sign, like $A$1. A reference to the amount cell shall be relative or mixed like F4 or $F4, and you should refer to the top-most cell with data, ignoring column headers. If this does not help, please post the exact formula here, and we will try to help.

    • Frank says:

      I have a formula that uses the MATCH function. I need to copy it down a column where the MATCH goes up in sequential order. Is this possible some how?
      Here is the formula.
      =IFERROR(IF('Main BOM'!$N$1="NO",(INDEX('Main BOM'!$A$3:$A$75,MATCH(1,'Main BOM'!$AA$3:$AA$75,0))),(INDEX('Main BOM'!$A$3:$A$75,MATCH(1,'Main BOM'!$Y$3:$Y$75,0)))),"")

      I have tried many ways to get the MATCH(1 to go up in sequence, but nothing has worked yet. Any ideas?

  12. AndyBhoy says:

    first time I've been able to get this work ! Thanks a big time saver.

  13. Robert M says:

    Thanks very much for this very clear and helpful set of tips. Excel was driving me nuts refusing to copy a table, and this provided some handy work-arounds.

  14. brooke says:

    I am copying from one sheet to another but need to skip every

    On sheet 1, i have # in cells c4, e4, g4, ect (every other column).

    I want to copy the above row to another sheet. BUT I need to skip the empty columns. So on this sheet I want a consecutive row of # from the other sheet.

    ex: on the second sheet I want, cell g4 to hold sheet1!c4. then h4 to hold sheet1!e4. then i4 to have sheet1!g4... and on. Is there a way to create the first two formulas and then copy the remaining?

    I've tried to make the first two and drag, but it messes up the column letters.

  15. Kyle says:

    I am trying to figure out how to replicate this formula setup down an entire column but when I do it changes to numerical order not the formula series I have created. Can anyone help??

  16. Jayaram says:

    Hi Team,

    IF I enter any values in specified blank cell(A1)according to the applied formula,I am getting the accurate system time in cell (A2), but if I try the same in next Cell (B2) the current time gets automatically updated on both cells(A2 & B2)...


    Example Output

    =+IF((ISBLANK($A2))=FALSE,NOW(),"") output A2: 12:27 PM
    =+IF((ISBLANK($B2))=FALSE,NOW(),"") output B2: 12:27 PM

    The time should be different for get accurate duration calculation please help me on this.


  17. Mary says:

    Hi hope someone can help. I am trying to setup a formula that will repeat on each work sheet, but when I copy the formula to the various worksheets it put a 0 (zero) and I would like to have an empty cell that and the info to appear when typing it on the master sheet. For example I would like the employee name and employee number to appear on my master sheet for tracking vacation then then I would like this info repeated each month on seperate worksheet that I have created?

    John Smith 333000
    Bruce Jones 456097
    Allison Sweeney 236890
    Tim Horton 4789567

  18. Leo says:

    To copy and paste a cell's content without changing references, you write:

    >> Open Notepad or any other text editor and press Ctrl + V to paste the formulas there. Then press Ctrl + A to select all the formulas, and Ctrl + C to copy them as text.

    This is entirely unnecessary. Simply enter the cell first (F2 or Cmd-U) and then paste the content. No need to use a separate text editor.

    (Kinda makes me wonder if you know whut your doin...)

  19. Vishal says:

    Thank you! Thank you!

  20. Dinora says:


    Could you help me out with a formula? i have the following values.

    Column A Column B Column C
    1- 300.00 Jan-17
    2- 400.00 Jan-17
    3- 600.00 Feb-17
    4- 1,500.00 Feb-17

    I would like to have a formula that, when column B is equal to Jan-17 then multiply column A by 25% and shows that 25% in column C. But i want to add the 25% off all columns that shows as Jan-17 in column b. Is this possible

  21. GS says:

    Thank you very much!

  22. Rajat says:

    very helpful.

  23. YVAN says:

    how can i copy a formula without changing the 2nd column example: =SUMIF(D6,E1,C6) =SUMIF(D7,E1,C7) =SUMIF(D8,E1,C8) by dragging down.. thanks

  24. M.HUSSAIN says:


  25. Jaime says:

    These explanations are worthless. (1.) Nowhere does it tel us how to copy a back of cells and paste them somewhere without changing cell references, if even if that is possible or not in EXCEL. It is such a common need that it is ridiculous no to address it.

    (2.) The method of explain things is at sea. What die sit mean to:
    Ctrl + R - Copy a formula from the cell to the left and adjusts the cell references.

    For example, if you have a formula in cell A2 and you want to copy it to cell B2, select B2 and press Ctrl + R.

    What else if happening when you type Ctrl + R????? Are you clicking the mouse at the same time. One has no idea from reading the explanations. There are far too many hidden assumption that the authors think everyone knows about.

  26. Jasmin says:

    I have a form on sheet 1. All the the raw data's i have are all on sheet 2 (all reference). When i enter a number on the form (Sheet 1) the information automatically goes to Sheet 3. What i'm thinking is how can i not make the result on Sheet 3 not disappear when i clear out the form on Sheet 1? and when i fill out the form on Sheet 1 again, how will i make the result be put on the next row on Sheet 3? Please help me...:-(

  27. Craig H says:

    I would like to copy a changing value as it moves down a column in my main worksheet, to a single cell in a separate tab. It will not change cells in the separate tab but always copy to this single cell while it still changes daily in the main worksheet.

  28. Craig H says:

    I would like to copy a changing daily value as it moves down a column in my main worksheet to a single cell in another tab. The cell location in this other tab always remains in this one location.

    Thank you for any feedback.


  29. Lizelle says:

    Pls help, i must copy a lot of cell info from 1file to another, downwards. But if i copy a range downwards and past it does not copy it in seq
    +'[file name]'!$j$3
    And i select a range it only copy to the next range on new file +'[file name]'!$j$3 on all cell but i want it to be +'[file name]'!$j$4. +'[file name]'!$j$5. Pls help. Regards

  30. farooq says:

    "W.O.228WO No-228 (Location.2.109/ Town Center) 21" in this value i want copy only 2.109 this is the word no 28-31 please tell me formula

  31. Michael (micky) Avidan says:

    1. Cut the Range of formulas.
    2. Paste itin the new location.
    3. Copy the contents, from the new location, that you just pasted.
    4. "Undo" the Cut-Paste operation (this will put the original content back to the original range).
    5. Paste the contents from the Clipboard(!) to the new desired location (Like 2 above).
    (The formulas will have the original references).
    IF it looks like a lot of work – take a look at the keyboard shortcuts:
    1. Ctrl-X
    2. Ctrl-V
    3. Ctrl-C
    4. Ctrl-Z
    5. Ctrl-V
    Michael (Micky) Avidan
    “Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
    “Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2017)

  32. Hamid Hadi says:

    Well done dear,

    Excellent Job. thanks so much for supporting the learners.

  33. elijah says:

    how can i achieve this kind drag increment
    and so on...

  34. Crystal Chilman says:

    Hello. I am trying to help a friend with an Excel sheet. At this time his sheet looks like this: The numbers under the month represent the number of people with these reasons. All of a sudden, the boss wants it in a different format, and i can't get it where it needs to be for him.

    Right now it is like this:
    County Reasons Jan Feb March April May
    Adams Don't want 4 0 5 2 3
    Benton Don't have 0 4 7 8 2
    Benton Don't like 1 1 1 1 1

    Boss wants it like this -
    County Reasons Month Clients
    Adams Don't want Jan 4
    Adams Don't want Feb 0
    Adams Don't want Mar 5
    Adams Don't want April 2

    We have 39 counties and 10 possible reasons and 12 months. When I used the INDEX function, transpose or anything else, I just could not make it work. I don't want to have to write this all manually. It's impossible. Happy to work by phone if easier. Just let me know.



  36. Amazing House says:

    I have an Excel spreadsheet which I made last year for a luncheon with about 300 people. I linked a page to it which creates name badges, using some of the information from the first list. This is an annual function and this year we would like to change the font on the name badges. I have created formulas so that if I change a line on the first badge, all of the badges will change as well. However, if I change the font on the first badge, no other badges will change fonts. Only the wording changes. How I get the font on all of the badges to change at one time to whatever is in that first badge? We will be using this spreadsheet for many years to come, but would to occasionally change the font, and I know there must be an easier way other than copy and paste! Thank you in advance for your help.

  37. Paul says:

    I have got a Cash Flow Analysis Workbook that reorts on Daily, Weekly and Monthly values. When I wish to extend the spreadsheet, the Daily values are a simple copy / paste. However, on the Weekly analysis Worksheet, I need to jump 7 columns each time for the totals (i.e. Copying A1 to the next column gives me B1 when I actually need H1) I have the same issue with the monthly analysis Worksheet when I need to go from A1 to AD1 in the next column. Is there a simple way to copy with this jump on references or is it a case of manually amending the references each time|?

  38. Max raphael says:

    i would like to drug down a formula. it gives varring values correspondning to the intededed cells for a certain range downwards. but after that range the calculated values are the same regardless of variations in the in the data being calculated. please help

  39. Dean says:

    Thank you so much! was reading all these different forums and every answer seemed excessively complex, 10 seconds into this page and you got it in one :)

  40. Rob says:

    Hi, I am trying to copy a formula from say cell A1 that has references from another Data source tab (say C1). I want to copy cell A1 and paste it in say cell A9 in the same sheet but want the cell reference in the formula to change by one row in the Data Source tab (from C1 to C2). How do I do this?

  41. Zandre says:

    Thank you for the helpful tips...found exactly what I was looking for!

  42. Antonette says:

    this kind of formula is the best!!!!

  43. Alison says:

    I'm trying to create a formula for a basic point of sale type stock control sheet. I'm using the IF function to pull prices from the purchases sheet into the recipes sheet, but I'm finding that if I need to add or remove stock items to the purchases sheet, deleting rows knocks out my formula - probably because I am using absolute references in my IF formula: =IF(Purchases!$A$5="Avo";Purchases!$W$5;0). I've been looking up the Excel INDIRECT formula, but am struggling to make head or tail of the tutorials I've read online - can anyone tell me how to create a formula that will keep the cell references as they are without regardless of whether or not I am deleting rows? Any help would be appreciated!

  44. Hug0 says:

    Thanks useful.

  45. Artur says:

    > Hi! Great article! The Best in The Web! Congratulations & Respect! :-)

    >> One 'Add-in':

    >>> Ref. above sections: "Copy a range of formulas without changing cell references" & "Create an Excel table...":

    In order to copy whole column of formulas intact, in other words to 'duplicate' them:

    Create Table / Make formula, in a cell of a column adjacent to the Table, referring to Table's several columns - then: Table automatically expands to this cell and column and copies formula to this whole new column / select this new column of formulas / copy it to the next adjacent column outside the Table / Voila!: the formulas in the newest column are copied exactly the same as they are in the previous one - with no change of references!

    > Hope it will help! BstRgds.AR:-)

  46. James Johnston says:

    Under the section "How to copy formula without changing references" your Method 2 is brilliant and totally new to me. It saved me a couple of hours of tedious and error-prone labor. I would gladly pay $75 for the help you have given me. Is there a way?
    Jim J.

  47. Gabriela says:

    I have a question what if you are dragging down and the formula is not showing the updated result, how do I return to the mode where dragging down a formula within the cell allows me to copy but the results will be updated as well

  48. James says:


    I would appreciate your help.
    For some reason I cannot paste a formula ONLY into the same cell in a different worksheet (same file) and have the cell references automatically adjust. It only pastes the exact same formula. These are simple formulas:
    =SUM(M9:M14). So instead of this formula adjusting to the rows say M9:M21 it stays at M9:M14. I don't remember this being that way - is there something I did that made this happen? The cells adjust if I do that in the same worksheet but NOT between worksheets.

    Thank You, James

  49. Charles says:

    I am working on a scoresheet for athletic events. I have multiple weight classes. I have 7 events and overall score and rank in each weight class. I'm using "=IF(G18>0,(IFERROR(RANK(G18,G$18:G$37,IF(G$16="Low",0,1)),0)),)" to figure the points awarded for each event. How do I copy the entire weight class worth of formula to a new weight classes? Every time I try, it will change the G18 but not the G$18:G$37, which should be G39,G$39:G$58 after copying.

  50. Anirudh says:

    I have tired double clicking and dragging down the formula of first row to the below rows.
    It is showing me the result of first row in all the rows below.
    I need to press enter in each and every row to get output for that particular row.

    For example:

    anirudh s
    swaminathan a

    must be my out put when drag down the formula or copy the formula.
    instead i get

    anirudh s
    anirudh s only , when i go on the formula in the second row and press enter then only i get the correct answer.

    need help


  51. Jeff Guarino says:

    I tried using the ctrl and ` function and could see the formulas, I copied the whole column with formulas and then pasted it into a notpad.

    It did not copy many of the cells. I have ranges of rows that I have bunched up and they do not show on the spread sheet but are there. They do not copy.

    Why do they not have this as a option in one of the paste menus ? Many times I want the exact formula copied , I don't want to change the references. I cannot sit there and change all the formulas to absolute references.

    Also I noticed that if I have reduced a cell height to zero the select a bunch of cells in the same column with this cell included, the amount in the cell is not summed and shows the wrong value in the sum displayed at the bottom of the page.

    This was driving me crazy. why on earth would they program it this way. It took me 15 minutes to find a value in a hidden cell that got in there by accident.

  52. Iradukunda clement says:

    how can I copy the those first 3 rows and extend them to those years list without changing them?( I mean copying 1-jan)

    • Doug says:

      If I understand your question correctly you can copy those rows by first selecting them and then move your mouse to the lower right corner of the selection over the solid square. When the cursor turns into a solid black cross click and drag the selection down the column or across the rows.

  53. sapna says:

    very usefull

  54. Carme says:

    Hi, How would you copy the heading from this:

    (raw file format)
    Heading 1
    Heading 2


    (preferred format)
    heading1 data
    heading1 data
    heading1 data
    heading1 data
    heading2 data
    heading2 data
    heading2 data
    heading2 data

    is there any shortcut for that?

  55. Naga says:


    I need to copy a formula from one cell to another cell in a series of 3,7,10,etc. Not able to do, when i
    tried the fill as series working for numbers not for the formula.
    Ex:- If A1 is ='Jan18'!AK113 then A2 should be in series of 7 like ='Jan18'!AK120.

    Hope you can help in this...!
    Thanks in advance...

  56. jing says:

    need column B to change to C, D, etc when drag down keeping the row (37) the same...


    is it possible? how? Thanks.
    when drag down

  57. JillSa says:

    I had a format and all my formulas done and then got feedback to just change the row positions but when I copied and pasted it kept changing the cell reference so a friend gave me this trick.
    Highlight the cell or cells that you want to move (without changing cell reference). Click and hold shift and then go to the top of the cell you want to move and get the 4 arrow icon and click and hold the mouse (which puts in move mode) then drag the highlighted data up to the row you want. This will move the cell range without changing the formulas!!! Saved me hours of work.

  58. Sean says:

    How do i quickly do the following

    Data Formula
    a =a+1
    b text
    c =b+1
    d text
    e =c+1
    ... ...

  59. Faisal says:

    Hello folks,

    I want to copy the whole raw with all the formulas in that raw but without the the numbers or information in cells.

    Anyone knows how to make it??


  60. Mark says:

    Brilliant. This has been plaguing me for time immemorial. Thanks!

  61. Olga says:

    Hi, I find your tutorial very useful. Still I cannot make full use of absolute refference and copy function. In brief, I have values in the first column and I need to count them every hour (data are every 10 sec) if the next column says "W". For that I am using COUNT IF function and absolute reference for the column. What I want to do, is to be able to advance to every hour (360 rows) with a paste formula function. And right now its just copying the same data from the previous cell. Could you help?

  62. Ronald Okello says:

    I want to generate a formula for calculating the Gross Salary when one knows his/hers Net pay.

  63. GR says:

    Your information is an EXCELLENT resource
    I cannot thank you enough!!!

  64. Kundan says:

    I'm using vlookup formula and I have to enter/change every cell to get exact value. If I copy the vlookup formula and paste the formula automatically changes according to cell column and rows. Please help me how to copy formula without changing the references cell which is exact I copied.

  65. Steve says:

    Hi thanks for this. I want to copy a formula from one sheet to another in a workbook. I am using paste special formulas. But the name of the sheet in the formula (within the brackets []) needs to stay the same. When I do it now, the name changes to the current sheet I am working in. I tried putting a dollar in front of the brackets, but it was just a wild aspiration that of course didn't work.

  66. Kyle says:

    Method 2. Copy Excel formulas without changing references via Notepad
    ***This is a life saver***
    Thank you!

  67. Lori says:


  68. A says:

    Can you please help me out for below -
    i want to know how to remove duplicates in ROW. is there any formula or shortcut.
    please help to provide solution.

  69. Deva says:

    Ok so here is my formula:

    I am trying to copy the formula down several rows but it changes to =SUM(sheetname!Q2), and I need the Number to change and Latter to constant. I hope that was clear enough. Thanks!

  70. Stacy says:

    OMG, thanks for the tip to use the notepad and alter via find/change in show formulas mode.
    Amaznig! Many thanks.

  71. Mig Bardsley says:

    I have made a splendid (probably very simple) excel sheet for calculating my weekly/monthly expenses etc and I would like to copy all the formulae, but not the data, to new sheets for different months. (I only want 3 months on a sheet so that I can see all the totals at once).
    So I think my question is, is it possible to lift all the formulae, but none of the data, from their cells in worksheet 1 and paste them into worksheet 2 so that worksheet 2 does exactly the same things as worksheet 1 did but with new data. And to do this in one go! Obviously I can do it a cell or row or column at a time but I can't find a way to do the whole table.

  72. Shree says:

    Dear, Nice trick to replace "=" with "\" and vice versa for copy pasting formulas without changing cell references. It was helpful in a difficult situation. Thank you!

  73. ahmed says:

    cell I54 shows my total overtime hours
    I need cell H57 to calculate if the hours less than or equal 20 to be multiplied by $54.69, and if the hours is more than 20 and less than 40 to be multiplied by $62.5, and the last thing if the hours is equal or more than 40 to be multiplied by $70.31.
    please advise how to write this equation

  74. Sinisha says:

    I would appreciate any help on the following matter: I have a column with MAX formula in every row. I have changed the range in the first row and I'm trying to find a way how to automatically update formulas on the rows below. The problem is that Excel doesn't recognize the new range. E.g. MAX(C801:C900)/MAX(C901:C1000)/MAX(C1001:C1100) is what I would like to have but Excel is offering instead MAX(C801:C900)/MAX(C802:C902)/MAX(C803:C903).
    Thanks so much in advance!

  75. Michael says:

    Thank you! The simple section of: "Method 3. Copy formulas exactly by using Excel's Find and Replace" saved me DAYS of work.

  76. Rupesh says:

    Brilliant guide, I am an expert in Excel but there were few things in here that I didn't know. Thank you.

  77. Diana says:

    Excellent guide! Just what I was looking for, thank you.

  78. Ben Tiefenthaler says:

    Fantastic guide! Thank you very much!

  79. sudhakar says:


    anyone can help me for this,

    IFERROR(SUMIFS('[OEM FY CYCLE.xlsx]DATA'!$P:$P,'[OEM FY CYCLE.xlsx]DATA'!$B:$B,">=01-07-2020",'[OEM FY CYCLE.xlsx]DATA'!$B:$B,"<=30-06-2021",'[OEM FY CYCLE.xlsx]DATA'!$F:$F,$B$9,'[OEM FY CYCLE.xlsx]DATA'!$L:$L,$J$2),0)

    Posting Date / BLOCKS/ OEM /VALUES
    B COLUMN / F /L /P.

    HERE i am looking for sum values in particular duration , once type the formula its working only same cell,

    if copy or drag its not working . values coming only 0, why my formula working only same cell.

    if its will work other cell mean what should i have to do .. any one please help me on this

  80. S says:

    Hi there,
    I am doing a large data entry and need help.
    For one of my columns I need to copy the value to the cell underneath it, but I need this to that for the entire column.
    For example, I need it to copy every other line, if that makes since. So for line 4 I need it to automatically fill from line 3. So 3 and 4 should both have 11. Both 5 and 6 should have 10. What would the formula be for this and how do I implement it? thanks in advance
    4. blank

  81. Anton says:

    I'm using an autotext/shortcuts app to insert common used text and formulas into cells. I use the following formula a lot: =E2&" "&F2&" "&C2 to get the text of those 3 cells into one cell. The problem is I have to manually edit the row number.
    How can I write the formula so it dynamically changes to the current row it is pasted in (the column must stay the same), for example if I paste it in A9 the formula must be =E9&" "&F9&" "&C9 & if I paste it in A11 then =E1&" "&F11&" "&C11 etc.

    Thank you

  82. eric says:

    I have a daily report that part of it has an opening number and closing number for the day i.e. a totalizator. Each sheet is ID as 1st, 2nd...31st. I need day 2 to pick up the closing number from day 1 as the opening number and day 3 to pick up the closing number from day 2,, etc. I can easily write in the cell appropriate cell in day 2. =1stL36 which will bring over the closing number from day 1 to the opening number in day 2. Long winded how do I copy and paste this to all the cells at one time so it will update the sheet? When I copy and paste the formula keeps the first sheet 1st. I just do not want to edit everyday. There are more items that have the same process so it is not like I only have to edit this one event.

  83. Samar says:

    Hello... Hoping for some guidance here...

    In my case, A1 is |=NOW()|, B2 is |16:00:00| and B3 is the difference between the two |=A1-B1|. How do i convert B3 into decimal? I know the formula is |=B2*24|, but that is not giving me the actual result. I have tried conditional formatting for B3, but it is not giving me the actual result.

    The one that works for me is when i manually enter, for example, |00:45:00| in E2 and E3 shows |0.75| instantly (E3 for formula is =E2*24) and conditional formatting for E2 is Custom>h:mm:ss

    What am i missing here?

    • Hello!
      I’m not sure I got you right since the description you provided is not entirely clear. However, it seems to me that the formula below will work for you:


      If this is not what you wanted, please explain the problem in more detail.

      • Samar says:

        no worries... here it is... i start work at 1600 hrs. (B1). A1 is =NOW(). B3 is the time i have spent in my shift. hence A1-B1. for example if it is 2009 hrs. at the moment, B2 will show 4:09 (without any conditional formatting). i want B2 in decimals.

        now.... if i manually enter 4:09 in C1 and add =C1*24 formula on C2, i will get 0.75 as a result. reason? coz i added conditional formatting to C1 as Custom > h:mm:ss and C2 as Number

        I need B2 (shift hours worked) in decimals...

  84. Aleksey F. says:

    Excel 2016 crashes when coping formulas in the formula view mode, even under safe mode. How to copy formulas of selected cells into the clipboard to paste into another editor for transposing?

  85. Tapendra singh chauhan says:

    I want to copy formula and past it but I don't want to change column reference.
    example I want to multiply B2=A2*B1 and I copy that and past it to multiple cells for example I past it to B3 and I get B3=A3*B2 but I want it to be B3=A3*B1, B4=A4*B1can I past formula without changing column reference.

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