# Excel: copy cell formatting in equation

If I make an equation:

``````' on cell A2
=A1
``````

Is there a way to make A2 have the exact same formatting as A1 and not just the value?

i.e. I want a FORMULA that copies both the value and the format/including conditional formatting of the original/source cell.

• I think what you're saying is that you want a formula which will calculate a value based on a source cell and also set the formatting of the destination cell based on the formatting of the source cell. Your use of the word "copy" is confusing the issue, since that usually refers to a copy/paste operation. I also don't think you can do what you want because formulas are designed to affect the value of a cell, not its format. The best you can do is apply the same conditional formats to the destination cell that are applied to the source. Jan 22 '10 at 2:17

There doesn't exist any standard Excel function that does what you are asking. You need a user defined function to be built via VBA

I am not sure entirely what you are asking for but if what you are trying to do is copy a cell with a formula that references a specific cell through multiple cells that will still reference back back to the one cell (I.E. A2 + B2 = C2, copied to next row down to be A3 + B2 + C3) you will need to include \$ before the cells you are wanting a fixed reference on in the formula. Is this the right direction or am i mis reading your question? Try this link for more help http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HP101023421033.aspx

Formatting:
You can create a conditional formatting in A2 that refers to A1 (create the exact same rules for conditional formatting in A1 and A2).
I already wrote a little how to yesterday here. Just follow the instructions and make sure you select both cells that should have the conditional formatting.

Value:
Simply put your functions in A2 and A1

You need to use the Format Painter tool to copy the conditional formatting.

• I was hoping for a formula Jan 21 '10 at 15:56
• @dassouki - I don't get it. How can you "formulate" a copy/paste operation ? Could you at least tell us what you need something like that for; it will help us understand the problemy you're having ...
– Rook
Jan 21 '10 at 17:18

This may not be what you are after, but possibly the camera tool could be useful as a way to return content and formatting, if you are trying to just visually monitor a cell.