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How to Clear Formatting in Google Sheets (Quick Guide)

Formatting cells in Google Sheets can be a game changer when you want to organize data and make it look polished. With just a few clicks, you can customize text, add borders, and change colours – the options are endless. However, there comes a time when you need to clear formatting in Google Sheets.

Maybe you inherited a Sheet from someone covered in formats you don’t need. Or you copied and pasted information from the web, and it brought along unwanted baggage. Whatever the reason, stripping everything back to the basics requires clearing all that formatting in Google Sheets.

If you’re a beginner looking for a quick guide to refreshing your Sheet, you’ve come to the right place. In this short tutorial, we’ll cover what it means to clear formatting in Google Sheets.

We will walk through the simple steps to return your perfectly formatted sheet to a clean slate. 

While formatting can do wonders for readability and function, it can also create clutter. Being able to clear it gives you control. 

So if you’re ready to wipe your Sheet clean for a fresh format, you’re welcome to read further. 

Clear formatting in Google Sheets- The Step by Step guide

Now that you know what it entails to clear formatting in Google Sheets, let’s show you how to go about it. 

Step 1: Open the Google Sheets you Want to Format

The first thing you need to do is launch the Google Sheets document housing the data you want to format. 

Step 2: Format > Clear Formatting

Once the Google Sheets document you want to format launches, it’s time to clear formatting. To do that, navigate to the Format menu and click it. This action will reveal a list of options. 

But since we are only interested in formatting the document, we need to scroll down and select the option for Clear formatting. 

How to Clear Formatting in Google Sheets

After executing the steps we showed you, your spreadsheet should be rid of all formatting. It’s as easy as that. 

If you find the steps we detailed above confusing, you can opt for the shortcut instead, which saves you time while allowing you to achieve the same result. 

To format your spreadsheet using the shortcut method, all you need to do is press CTRL / on your keyboard, and your spreadsheet should be formatted accordingly. 

Clearing Formatting – What You Need to Know

When you clear formatting in Google Sheets, it removes all cell styles, including:

  • Borders
  • Colour fills
  • Font changes
  • Number formats

This leaves just the raw data behind.

Good to know:

  • Clearing formatting also removes conditional formatting rules, like highlighting cells with specific colours based on their value. So you’ll lose any rules you set up.
  • Any hyperlinks in the cells will stop working after you clear the formatting.
  • Don’t worry if you accidentally clear something you want to keep. You can use the handy keyboard shortcut Control + Z (Windows) or Command + Z (Mac) to undo it immediately. This brings back your lost formatting.

Clearing formatting gives you a blank slate by stripping all styles, rules, and hyperlinks from your selected cells. It leaves only the bare data behind. And guess what? You don’t need to be a spreadsheet guru to format your spreadsheet. 

Final Thoughts 

Formatting cells in Google Sheets is hugely valuable for organizing data and making it readable. But sometimes, even the best-formatted Sheet needs a fresh start. Whether you inherited messy formatting or copied data with unwanted styles, clearing it all away gives you back control.

In this quick beginner’s guide, we covered the ins and outs of removing formatting in Google Sheets. Now you know how to strip away borders, font changes, fill colours, and any other cell formats cluttering up your data. Clearing the slate sets you up to reformat cleanly based on your needs.

Just keep in mind that clearing formatting also deletes conditional rules and hyperlinks. If you change your mind, simply use the handy undo shortcut Control/Command + Z. But if you’re sure you want to wipe the stylistic slate clean, the formatting steps we detailed in today’s guide make it easy.

The key takeaways:

  • Formatting is helpful but can also create clutter over time
  • Clearing formatting erases all cell styles but leaves the raw data
  • It’s a quick way to refresh your Sheet and start reformatting with a blank slate
  • The bonus undo shortcut brings back anything you remove accidentally

We hope today’s guide has been quite helpful.