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Office: Format Painter  

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Microsoft Office: Format Painter

For Microsoft Office 2003 and earlier versions

Microsoft Office programs offer a quick way to copy formatting from one item--such as text in Word, a cell in Excel, a shape in PowerPoint, or even a form control in Access--to another. The key is the Format Painter and it might be the most helpful toolbar button you've never used.

How to Use the Format Painter

Whether you are using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access or even Publisher, the Format Painter works the same basic way:

  1. First, select the "good stuff", that is, the text, cells, or object that has the formatting you want to duplicate.
  2. Next, look on your Standard toolbar for a yellow paintbrush tool.

Format Painter, Microsoft Office, copy formatting, font format, format graphics, Microsoft PowerPoint

  1. Finally, select or click and drag on the text, cells, or objects that you want to take on the selected format.

Format Painter, Microsoft Office, copy formatting, font format, format graphics, Microsoft Excel

Format Painter, Microsoft Office, copy formatting, font format, format graphics, Microsoft Word

Bonus Tip

If you want to apply the same formatting to more than one item, select the formatting you want, and double-click the Format Painter tool, and then select the item you want to apply formatting to. You can continue to repeatedly apply formatting and then press [Esc] to cancel.

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Hot Tip
Double-click on the Format Painter toolbar button to "lock-in" the paintbrush icon and to repeat the format copy.
 
Did You Know?
The Format Painter tool works in Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Access.

 
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