Understanding the specific. Differences between Paste All and Paste all using sourcing theme

Occasional Contributor

Hi, I'm curious what is a differences between

Paste All (CTRL+V) and Paste all using sourcing theme?


I tried with a few things e.g. copy cells, copy chart it gave me exactly the same result every time. But I assumed I should expect some differences, can anyone give me the obvious examples of these 2 options?


Thank you so much! 

13 Replies


Copy and paste specific cell contents

(Click on Link for detail Infos as well as seeing the differences)

You can copy and paste specific cell contents or attributes (such as formulas, formats, comments, and validation). By default, if you use the Copy and Pasteicons (or+ C and+ V), all attributes are copied. To pick a specific paste option, you can either use a Paste menu option or select Paste Special, and pick an option from the Paste Special box. Attributes other than what you select are excluded when you paste.


Paste options

By default when you copy (or cut) and paste in Excel, everything in the source cell or range—data, formatting, formulas, validation, comments—is pasted to the destination cell(s). This is what happens when you press CTRL+V to paste. Since that might not be what you want, you have many other paste options, depending on what you copy.

For example, you might want to paste the contents of a cell, but not its formatting. Or maybe you want to transpose the pasted data from rows to columns. Or, you might need to paste the result of a formula instead of the formula itself.

Paste Special

You can specify formatting when you paste slides, text, pictures, objects, and tables from other programs or the web into your Office application such as Access, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. Keyboard Shortcut: Press Ctrl+Alt+V.



I would be happy to know if I could help.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)


* Kindly Mark and Vote this reply if it helps please, as it will be beneficial to more Community members reading here.


I afraid this doesn't answer the question, I'm looking for a specific example not a general info that show on Microsoft as it doesn't say much about the differences between the 2 options in questions. Thank you though.


If you have applied some theme at Page layout -> Themes at source workbook and copy / paste to target workbook with this option, formats on target will be applied using the source theme settings.


I am afraid I do not understand your concern.

I sent him the table with what paste and paste special can do.

What is so difficult to make an example of it for yourself?


Anyway, everyone who is looking for help here should get help.

Difference Between Paste and Paste Special Definition

Paste is a computer program action that allows copying an object or text from one location and placing it to another location. Paste Special is a computer program action that provides more control on how the content is displayed when pasted from the clipboard.


Paste Special is a special type of paste option. The difference between paste and paste special is that the paste command allows the user to insert the selected data from the clipboard into an application while the paste special command follows the same functionality similar to paste, but provides additional options to select how the inserted data should appear on the application.


Hope this helped you.


Thank you for your understanding and patience




I know I don't know anything (Socrates)


Yes, you are correct, you do not understand the question, again I'm looking for a specific differences between Paste All and Paste all using sourcing theme.

It isn't hard for me to make the example for myself, I did, but I found that the result between these 2 options is exactly the same, I thought I may be I was doing it wrong or not looking at the right place, that's why I asked and hope someone will help point it out to me.

May be I was way too stupid to notice the differences between these 2 options, if you think that it is so easy to point out may be you could try type something in 1 cell, change font, put a color in there, go to lay out change the theme, then do
1. Copy and Paste All
2. Copy and Paste all using source theme
And kindly point out to me the differences in 2 results.

thank you so much for your time and input.

This is where I got confused I guess, I tried applied theme to the source, copy and paste with this option, the destination still has it own theme, not changing to the source theme.

The result between Paste All and this option is exactly the same, no differences T_T If that is the case why do they even have this option?


Yes, target workbook keeps its own theme, but pasted cell(s) will be formatted using source theme.

I think I'm getting somewhere but not quite there yet, how is that difference from Paste All, Paste All also applied everything to the paste destination.
best response confirmed by M1931 (Occasional Contributor)
I tried so many things and finally got the answer, this options is used for Copy and Paste in different workbook. If copy and paste in the same workbook, result will be as same as paste all.

Thank you every one for your input.


For example, in source theme default row height is 15 points and default font Trebuchet MS, target them - 12 points and Calibri.


Let say in source you have the cell with some value and yellow background, no other formatting.

Paste All returns yellow cell with same value; row height is 12 and font is Calibri as default in target workbook.

Paste All using Source theme returns yellow cell with same value, but row height with this cell will be changed on 15 points and font on Trebuchet MS.

@M1931 Yes, theme is applying to entire workbook, thus this option make sense for different workbooks.

I tried so many things and finally got the answer, this options is used for Copy and Paste in different workbook. If copy and paste in the same workbook, result will be as same as paste all.

Thank you so much for your input I kinda build up my test from your comment. Cheers!