How to Clear Formatting in Google Sheets (Step-by-Step)

When working with data in Google Sheets, you will often find yourself formatting the data to look better and be more readable.

Simple formatting things such as giving the cells a border, adding/removing gridlines, changing the font style and size, giving a cell color, etc. can greatly enhance the readability of your dataset and make it look a lot more professional.

But in some cases, you may want to clear the formatting in Google Sheets altogether.

This could possibly be the case when you get the data from someone else or a database and you want to clear all the formatting and start afresh.

And sometimes, when you copy data from a website, it also brings a lot of formatting when pasted in the cells in Google Sheets. In such a case, it’s needed to remove all the formatting from the cells.

In this tutorial, I will show you a simple way to clear formatting in Google Sheets.

So let’s get started!

Clear Formatting in Google Sheets

Below are the steps to clear formatting from the cells in Google Sheets:

  1. Select all the cells from which you want to remove the formatting
  2. Click the Format option in the menuClick the Format option in the menu
  3. Click on ‘Clear formatting’ optionClick on Clear formatting

That’s it!

The above steps would instantly clear all the formatting in the selected cells.

You can also use the following keyboard shortcut to clear formatting in Google Sheets:

CONTROL + \ (hold the Control key and then press the backward-slash key)

In case you want to remove the formatting from the entire sheets, you can select all the cells and then use the above steps.

Note that the above steps would remove all the formatting and you will be left with only the data in the cell.

A few things to know when clearing formatting in Google Sheets:

  • The above steps would also remove the conditional formatting that is applied to the selected cells
  • It would also remove any hyperlinks that you have in the cells
  • In case you clear the formatting by mistake and want to get it back, you can use Control + Z to undo it

Copy Paste the Data but Not the Formatting

In many cases, you may want to copy the data from some other sheet or even web into the Google Sheets, but without copying the formatting.

All you need is the data (and not the formatting).

In this scenario, you can choose to first copy the data and then remove the formatting later (using the steps covered in the previous section).

Or you can choose to only copy and paste the value and not the formatting (which is less work and saves time).

Below are the steps to copy the data and only paste the values and not the formatting:

  1. Copy the data that you want to paste in Google Sheets
  2. Right-click on the cell where you want to paste the data
  3. In the menu that opens, hover the cursor on the Paste Special option
  4. Click on Paste Values only option

Paste Values Only

The above steps would only copy and paste the value and not the formatting. So this will save time and you don’t have to clear the formatting from the pasted data.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control + Shift + V to paste the value only.

So these are the ways you can cleat formatting in Google Sheets (by either removing it from the cells or avoiding it when pasting data in the first place).

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may find useful:

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Sumit is a Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert. He provides spreadsheet training to corporates and has been awarded the prestigious Excel MVP award by Microsoft for his contributions in sharing his Excel knowledge and helping people.

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