How to Paste Excel Chart Formatting

by Matthew Kuo on April 13, 2013

in Excel, Visual Design

To learn more about Excel, go to the organized listing of all my Excel tutorial posts or review the
 

Pasting chart formats is an Excel function that’s somewhat un-intuitive to find and therefore underutilized.  One of the main reasons that people don’t bother improving the formatting of their charts is because of the time it takes to make these adjustments.  By using the paste format function for your charts, you can save yourself time and while still improving the Visual Design of your workbook.

The Intuitive Approach

Suppose I have two charts:  one where I’ve made all the necessary formatting adjustments and one that hasn’t been touched – it’s still in the default Excel chart format.

paste_chart1

paste_chart2

If I click on the chart that I’ve already formatted, hit CTRL + C, click on the unformatted chart, and hit CTRL + V, this is the output I get:

paste_chart3

The formatting has transferred over, but we’ve also added the data series from the original chart to the destination chart.

How to Paste Chart Formats

The trick to doing this properly is that you need to use Excel’s Paste Special menu before pasting the chart.  Interestingly, you can’t get this menu by right clicking your destination chart.  Start with the same three steps above:

Select formatted chart
Hit CTRL + C
Select unformatted chart

Now click on the down arrow below the large Paste button, which appears in the upper left hand corner of the home tab of the ribbon.  Then click on Paste Special.

paste_chart4

Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to access the Paste Special menu.  Since we only want the chart’s formatting to paste over, we select “Formats”.  (Please note that you can also access the Paste Special Menu by hitting CTRL + ALT + V)

paste_chart5

After you hit Enter, your new formatting should be pasted over.

paste_chart6

You can also paste over your chart formatting using just shortcut keys:

Select formatted chart
Hit CTRL + C
Select unformatted chart
Hit ALT – E – S – T – Enter

Paste Format Limitations

Pasting over chart formats is particularly useful when you have two similar charts.  However, there are two specific scenarios where you’ll still have to make additional adjustments even after you’ve pasted over the formatting:

  1. Your destination chart has fewer data series than your original chart; the additional data series will just be in default Excel formatting
  2. You’ve made adjustments to your original axis scale (max, min, major unit, or minor unit); the scaling adjustments will paste over and it’s possible that they aren’t appropriate for your new chart

Be cognizant of these differences any time you use the Paste Format function between charts.  The fact that these limitations exist makes it less useful to just save formatted versions of all your charts (and then just pasting them over whenever you build a new chart).  However, if you tend to format your charts the same way every time, this is definitely an approach to consider.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jihunlee October 14, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Thank you so much..it is great information.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post:


Related pages


goals excel templatesimple excel macro examplehlookupsexcel formulas pdf filehow to divide by 1000 in excelvlookup processprobability distribution chart exceltick symbol exceldefine formula in excelhow to select multiple rows in exceldynamic array excelhow to build macros in excelexcel paste special values shortcutvlookup tutorial for beginnersexcel vba formula arrayexcel stacked bar chartexcel countif between rangeiferror excelz score graph generatorlookup and vlookuphistogram excearray lookup excelhow to label axis on excel graphgoal seek formula in excel 2010compare to columns in excelhow to create a vlookup in excelexcel duplicates formulahow to do a cumulative sum in excelexcel indirect referenceuses of macros in excelsimple excel graphif statements in excel with textvlookup excel vbaexcel drag formuladelete duplicates from a tableexcel formulas vlookup multiple entriesexcel formula if cell contains valueoffset 1 0 vbaucla course listingstep by step vlookupexcel compare rangeshloookupexcel remove duplicates in a columncustom number formats excelhow to vlookup excelexcel dgetexcel 100 stacked column chartexamples of bell curvesexcel formula if multiple conditionsnormdist excel 2010how to insert check mark in excelhow to delete repeats in excelucla weyburn parkingmyculamonthly planner excel templateexcel formula lookupvlookup wordsiferror vlookup excel 2010highlight duplicate values in excelexcel vba formula arrayindex and match multiple criterialabel chart excelexcel macro worksheethow to find duplicates in excel using pivot tablehow to use the offset function in excelwhat is the formula for vlookup in excelmost common excel formulastick in wingdingsadvanced excel tips and tricksexcel 3d chartvlookup exactexcel vlookup functionsms excel standard deviationexcel label chartaverage gpa to get into uclarandomizing a list in excelexcel filter unique valuesline graphs in excelremove duplicate values in excel
\n