Copy or move a formula

When you copy and paste a formula to a new cell, the cell reference in the new cell may change too, based on the kind of cell reference that you use. When you move a formula, regardless of what kind of cell reference that you use, absolute cell reference or relative cell reference, the cell references within the formula do not change. To learn more, see Switch between relative and absolute references.

Do any of the following:

Copy a formula

  1. Select the cell that contains the formula that you want to copy.

  2. On the Standard toolbar, click Copy  Copy button .

  3. Select the cell that you want to copy the formula to.

  4. Do one of the following:

To paste

Do this

The formula and any formatting

On the Standard toolbar, click Paste  Paste button .

The formula only

On the Home tab, under Edit, click the arrow next to Paste, click Paste Special, and then under Paste, select Formulas.

Home tab, Edit group

  1. If you expected different results

    1. Select the cell that contains the cell reference that you want to change.

    2. In the formula bar, click the cell reference that you want to change.

    3. Press COMMAND + T to move through the combinations.

    Tips: 

    1. You can also copy formulas into adjacent cells by using the fill handle   Fill handle . Select the cell that contains the copied formula, and then drag the fill handle over the range that you want to fill. Excel adjusts the cell references automatically to include the correct values for each row.

    2. To copy a formula from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar, press CONTROL + APOSTROPHE (').

    3. To copy the value from the cell above the active cell into the cell or the formula bar, press CONTROL + SHIFT + QUOTATION MARK (").

Move a formula

  1. Select the cell that contains the formula that you want to move.

  2. On the Standard toolbar, click Cut  Cut button .

    Tip: You can also move formulas by dragging the border of the selected cell to the upper-left cell of the paste area. Any existing data is replaced.

  3. Select the cell that you want to move the formula to.

  4. On the Standard toolbar, click Paste  Paste button .

    This moves the formula and any formatting to the new location.

    Tip: To paste the selection, press COMMAND + V .

See also

Enter a formula

Create a simple formula

Change a formula

Copy formula results or formatting

Replace a formula with its result

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