Find and Replace loses cell formatting in Excel

Copper Contributor

There have been multiple posts over the years about this issue, when is Microsoft going to fix this bug?



cell contains:  dogs are the best

Find dogs, replace with cats

result should be:  cats are the best



4 Replies


The issue you are describing, where formatting is lost during the Find and Replace operation in Excel, might be related to the formatting options selected during the Find and Replace process. Microsoft Excel provides several options that control what is included in the search and how replacements are handled.

Here are some steps you can follow to maintain formatting during Find and Replace:

  1. Advanced Options:
    • After selecting Find and Replace (Ctrl + H), click on the "Options" button to reveal more advanced options.
    • Check if the "Match entire cell contents" or "Match case" options are selected based on your needs.
  2. Format Options:
    • Still in the "Options" dialog, there might be a "Format" button that allows you to specify additional formatting criteria. Use this to make sure the formatting is considered during the operation.
  3. Replace Formatting:
    • In the Replace With box, you can click on the "Format" button to specify formatting for the replacement text. The text and steps were edited with the help of AI.

If the issue persists, it might be a limitation or bug in the specific version of Excel you are using. Microsoft regularly updates Office applications, and such issues may be addressed in future updates. Ensure your Excel is up to date with the latest updates and patches.

If you have already tried the above steps and the problem persists, you might consider providing feedback to Microsoft through the Excel user interface. In Excel 365, you can go to File > Feedback and describe the issue you're facing. Microsoft pays attention to user feedback and often uses it to improve their applications.


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I am not sure it even rates as a bug.  Excel is more aimed at calculation than graphics.  Unless you are fluent with VBA most character formatting is a matter of manual 'tarting up' after the event and even then it doesn't apply to formula output.