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Excel Doesn’t Save Formatting. How To Solve.

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  • Published on:
    April 10, 2023
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  • Last updated:
    June 9, 2023
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Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool used for organizing and analyzing data. However, formatting issues can often arise, leading to frustration and wasted time. In this article, we will explore common formatting issues and solutions, as well as best practices for preserving formatting.

Explanation of Excel Formatting

Excel formatting refers to the way data is presented in a spreadsheet. This includes font style, font size, cell borders and shading, number formatting, and more. Proper formatting can make data easier to read and understand.

Importance of Preserving Formatting

Preserving formatting is important for maintaining consistency and accuracy in data analysis. When formatting is lost or altered, data can become difficult to read and understand, potentially leading to errors.

Overview of Excel Formatting Issues

Excel formatting issues can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as incompatibility with older versions of Excel. Conflicting or overlapping cell formatting, corruption in Excel files, and incorrect Excel settings or preferences.

Part 1: Causes of Excel Formatting Issues

Incompatibility with Older Versions of Excel

When opening Excel files created in older version number of Excel, formatting may be lost or altered. This is because newer version history of Excel may not have all the formatting features available in older versions.

Overlapping or Conflicting Cell Formatting

When two or more cells with conflicting formatting are merged, the resulting formatting may not be what was intended. Overlapping cell formatting can also cause issues, as Excel may struggle to determine which formatting to apply.

Corruption in Excel Files

Excel files can become corrupted due to a variety of reasons, such as computer crashes, power outages, and viruses. When this happens, formatting can be lost or altered.

Incorrect Excel Settings or Preferences

Incorrect Excel settings or preferences can also lead to formatting issues. For example, if the default font size is changed to an uncommon size. This can cause issues when the file is opened on a different computer.

Part 2: Common Excel Formatting Problems

Text Formatting Issues

Text formatting issues can include font style, size, color, and alignment. Inconsistent or incorrect text formatting can make data difficult to read and understand.

Number Formatting Issues

Number formatting issues can include incorrect decimal places, currency symbols, and scientific notation. These issues can make data inaccurate and difficult to compare.

Date and Time Formatting Issues

Date and time formatting issues can include incorrect date or time formats, or formatting that is inconsistent across the spreadsheet. These issues can lead to errors in data analysis.

Cell Border and Shading Issues

Cell border and shading issues can include missing or overlapping borders, or shading that is inconsistent or applied incorrectly. These issues can make data difficult to read and understand.

Alignment and Indentation Issues

Alignment and indentation issues can include misaligned row or column, or inconsistent indentation. Check the row number and type of cell references in Excel to solve this issue. These issues can make data difficult to read and understand.

Formula Formatting Issues

Formula formatting issues can include inconsistent or incorrect use of cell references, leading to errors in data analysis. To skip formatting issues with formulas, copy formulas instead or writing them, check references in the formulas. Select the cells, enter the formula, press enter and check that everything is correct.

Part 3: Troubleshooting Excel Formatting Issues

Check for Compatibility Issues

When opening Excel files created in older versions of Excel, ensure that compatibility mode is enabled to prevent formatting issues.

Remove or Reset Conflicting Formatting

When merging cells, ensure that the formatting of each cell is consistent before merging. If conflicting formatting is present, remove or reset it before merging.

Repair Corrupted Excel Files

If an Excel file has become corrupted, attempt to repair the file using Excel’s built-in repair function.

Adjust Excel Settings and Preferences

Check that Excel settings and preferences are set correctly to prevent formatting issues.

Restore Default Excel Templates

If formatting issues persist, try restoring Excel’s default templates to eliminate any issues caused by custom templates.

Check for Hidden Formatting

Hidden formatting can cause issues when attempting to apply new formatting. Check for hidden formatting and remove it if necessary.


To sum it up you must always check for Microsoft 365 Excel versions. Whether it’s Excel 2007, Excel 2010 the errors and reasons for formatting issues can vary. However, practices discussed in this article can always help to solve issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my Excel sheet lose its formatting when I save it?

There could be various reasons for this, such as incompatibility with older Excel versions, corrupted Excel files, conflicting cell formatting, or incorrect Excel settings. Try troubleshooting the issue by checking for any of these common causes.

How do I preserve Excel formatting when emailing a file?

To preserve Excel formatting when emailing a file, you can use the “Send as Attachment” feature instead of copy-pasting the data into the email. You can also save the Excel file as a PDF before sending it to ensure that the formatting is preserved.

Why is my Excel not saving the formatting changes I make?

There could be several reasons for this, such as the use of incompatible formatting features, corrupted Excel files, conflicting or overlapping cell formatting, or incorrect Excel settings. You can try troubleshooting the issue by checking for any of these common causes and making the necessary adjustments.

Learn more about Excel and Google Sheets hacks in other articles. Stay connected with us on social media and receive more daily tips and updates.

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