#235 Quickly Paint Formatting


There are a seemingly infinite number of formatting options available for your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. At times, you can get pretty complex with these formatting options to create really good looking documents and that is great. But what do you do after you’ve just spent 15 minutes getting that one heading formatted just right and you still have 20 more to do?

The Format Painter button just became your new best friend. It copies the formatting from your current selection and pastes it onto whatever you select next. You don’t have to recreate all of that formatting from scratch.

Note: In Word, you can include the paragraph formatting such as line spacing, indentation, etc as well as the character formatting by including the paragraph mark at the end of the paragraph. Don’t want to copy the paragraph formatting? Don’t include that paragraph mark in your selection.

If you need to use the Format Painter to “paint” more than one item, you can save even more time. Even if you already knew about the format painter, you probably select the cell with the desired formatting, click the Format Painter button, select one data range for the new formatting, go back to the original cell … rinse, wash, and repeat.

Here’s an great tip: You don’t have to go through this repetitive, time-consuming, process. Just double-click the Format Painter button and it will stay on until you turn it off. Then every range that you select gets the new formatting — until you click the Format Painter button again to deactivate it. When the format painter is active you’ll notice the paintbrush cursor sticks around even after you apply the formatting the first time.

Copy Formatting

1. Select the text that has the formatting you want to copy.

2. On the Standard toolbar, click the Format Painter button.

3. Select the text you want to apply the formatting to. The text takes on the new formatting.

If you want to apply the same formatting to more than one item, select the formatting you want, double-click the Format Painter button, and then select each word, phrase, or paragraph you want to apply formatting to. When you’re finished, press ESC.


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