How to copy formula without changing its cell references in Excel?

Normally Excel adjusts the cell references if you copy your formulas to another location in your worksheet. You would have to fix all cell references with a dollar sign ($) or press F4 key to toggle the relative to absolute references to prevent adjusting the cell references in formula automatically. If you have a range of formulas need to be copied, these methods will be very tedious and time-consuming. If you want to copy the formulas without changing cell references quickly and easily, try the following methods:

Copy formula without changing its cell references by Replace feature

Copy formula without changing its cell references by converting formula to text

Copy formula without changing its cell references by converting to absolute references

Copy formula without changing its cell references by Kutools for Excel

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arrow blue right bubble Copy formula without changing its cell references by Replace feature

In Excel, you can copy formula without changing its cell references with Replace function as following steps:

1. Select the formula cells you will copy, and click Home > Find & Select > Replace, or press shortcuts CTRL+H to open the Find & Select dialog box.

2. Click Replace button, in the Find what box input “=”, and in the Replace with box input “#” or any other signs that different with your formulas, and click the Replace All button.

Basically, this will stop the references from being references. For example, “=A1*B1” becomes “#A1*B1”, and you can move it around without excel automatically changing its cell references in current worksheet.

     

3. And now all “=” in selected formulas are replaced with “#”. And a dialog box comes out and shows how many replacements have been made. Please close it. See above screenshot:

And the formulas in the range will be changed to text strings. See screenshots:.

4. Copy and paste the formulas to the location that you want of the current worksheet.

5. Select the both changed ranges, and then reverse the step 2. Click Home> Find & Select >Replace… or press shortcuts CTRL+H, but this time enter “#” in the Find what box, and “=” in the Replace with box, and click Replace All. Then the formulas have been copied and pasted into another location without changing the cell references. See screenshot:


arrow blue right bubble Copy formula without changing its cell references by converting formula to text

Above method is to change the formula to text with replacing the = to #. Actually, Kutools for Excel provide such utilities of Convert Formula to Text and Convert Text to Formula. And you can convert formulas to text and copy them to other places, and then restore these text to formula easily.

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1. Select the formula cells you will copy, and click Kutools > Content > Convert Formula to Text. See screenshot:

2. Now selected formulas are converted to text. Please copy them and paste into your destination range.

3. And then you can restore the text strings to formula with selecting the text strings and clicking Kutools > Content > Convert Text to Formula. See screenshot:

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arrow blue right bubble Copy formula without changing its cell references by converting to absolute references

The formulas changes after copying as a result of relative references. Therefore, we can apply Kutools for Excel’s Convert Refers utility to change the cell references to absolute to prevent from changing after copying in Excel.

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1. Select the formula cells you will copy, and click Kutools > Convert Refers.

2. In the opening Convert Formula References dialog box, please check the To absolute option and click the Ok button. See screenshot:

3. Copy the formulas and paste into your destination range.

Note: If necessary, you can restore the formulas’ cell references to relative by reusing the Convert Refers utility again.

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arrow blue right bubble Copy formula without changing its cell references by Kutools for Excel

Is there an easier way to copy formula without changing its cell references this quickly and comfortably? In actual, Kutools for Excel can help you copy formulas without changing its cell references quickly.

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1. Select the formula cells you will copy, and click Kutools > Exact copy.

2. In the first Exact Formula Copy dialog box, please click OK. And in the second Exact Formula Copy dialog box, please specify the first cell of destination range, and click the OK button. See screenshot:

Tip: Copy formatting option will keep all cells formatting after pasting the range, if the option has been checked.

And all selected formulas have been pasted into the specified cells without changing the cell references. See screenshot:

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arrow blue right bubbleDemo: copy formulas without changing cell references in Excel

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Copy formulas exactly/ statically without changing cell references in Excel

Kutools for Excel's Exact Copy utility can help you easily copy multiple formulas exactly without changing cell references in Excel, preventing relative cell references updating automatically. Click for 60-day free trial!

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Comments  

Permalink -4 jack corvin
:-x great website
:lol: Quote:
fly like a butterfly sting like a bee
2013-11-15 10:53 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +9 Jerry
it's 'float* like a butterfly...'
2014-01-21 16:59 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 name
Great tip, thanks for the help!
2013-12-19 16:21 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +2 pbash
Thank you. That helped.
2014-01-05 06:01 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +2 davidjoneslocker
That's really clever.
2014-01-23 23:57 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Mayank
brilliant tip... simple and very effective!
2014-01-30 13:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Adrian Busuttil
Very helpful - Thanks
2014-02-26 13:22 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -7 tj
Just press F2, copy the whole formula, go to the new cell. F2. Paste the formula.
2014-03-03 16:06 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 John McNutt
Quoting tj:
Just press F2, copy the whole formula, go to the new cell. F2. Paste the formula.

This is a better option for myself and it works great; I don't need anymore add-ins.
2014-09-24 08:20 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +5 VR
This isn't easy if you want to copy a range of cells and paste it. F2 is useful to copy just one cell and paste.
2014-11-07 06:38 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 BJ
Thanks very fucking much
2014-03-07 03:14 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Yare
Awesome stuff!! Thanks a lot!
2014-03-24 17:26 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Peter
the # tip is super!! good job
2014-04-05 17:21 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Viktor
Isn't it easier to just drag the area with the formulas to the new location? That won't change the cell references. (Mark the area with the formulas you want to move. Place the cursor on the edge of the marked area so that the symbol with four arrows (N, S, E, W) is displayed. Click and hold left mouse button and drag the area to desired location.) Good luck!
2014-04-16 08:35 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 ricky
its not good enough......... ............... ............... ............... ............... ............... ......
2014-04-22 08:09 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Russell
Great Tip. What is actually happening when you do this, is you are de-activating the formula by making it no longer a recognised formula with the 1st replace (so excel won't change it). Then after you've moved/deleted/ made your changes, the 2nd replace re-activates the formula, by making it a valid/recognise d formula again. This was handy when someone had entered a basic formula for a running total, but then we had to delete an item from the total. Excel would try to update the formula and break the running total
2014-04-24 00:28 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Dayna
THANK YOU thank you thank you. Sometimes the easiest fix is the one that escapes me the most. :lol:
2014-05-13 17:34 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 JH
Just copy the whole sheet (right click sheet name tab -> Move or Copy... -> Create a copy)
2014-08-07 11:43 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Anwar
Thanks for very good tip! :lol:
2014-09-25 15:15 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Cokedie
Great tip, this is the only trick... People who dont appreciate its just because they dont understand why we need this trick. TQ.
2014-10-23 01:08 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Sultan
Thanks a lot , great job :D
2014-10-28 10:35 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Hellooooo
Just go to Formula Tab, select Show Formula, Formulas will now display, copy them, paste into notepad, copy again from notepad and paste back into excel...
2014-11-04 06:47 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 JeffDDD
This was the answer. You rock.
2014-11-24 23:08 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 sifalio
Anoher way to do it is:
ctrl+' will display all formulas
copy the whole area you need.
open notepad
paste it there
copy from notepad
paste in the desired area.
done :)

cheers
2015-02-05 21:59 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Madhu
Great website, wonderful solutions. Saving lot of time.
2015-09-07 04:27 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 SANKAR KS
THANK YOU FOR U R IDEA
2015-09-16 06:02 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Alessandro
astonished this is what i was looking for. you are smart
2015-09-16 12:15 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Patrick
Wow, works like a charm. Thank you so much!
2015-11-24 21:43 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 SHIVAM SHUKLA
SUPERB IDEA thnks for help me i am very happy...
2016-11-19 09:37 Reply Reply with quote Quote

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