Copy the formatting of an object, worksheet cell, or text by using Format Painter

You can use Format Painter to copy the formatting (such as fills or borders) of shapes or objects (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.), text, or cells in a Microsoft Office Excel worksheet to a different group of shapes, objects, text, or cells.

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Excel

For conditional formatting, or formatting that changes the appearance of a cell range based on a condition (or criteria), see Add, change, or clear conditional formats. To copy cells or specific attributes of cells, such as column widths, borders, or values, see Copy specific cell contents or attributes in a worksheet. Also see Move or copy cells and cell contents or Move or copy rows and columns.

  1. Select the shape, object (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.), text, or worksheet cell that has the formatting that you want to copy.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, do one of the following:
    • To copy the formatting to one other shape, object, cell, or text selection, click Format Painter.
    • To copy the formatting to multiple shapes, objects, cells, or text selections, double-click Format Painter.

Format Painter in Clipboard group

The pointer changes to a paintbrush.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To copy the formatting to a single shape, object, or piece of text, click the object or text that you want to format.
    • To copy the formatting to a single cell or range of cells, drag the mouse pointer across the cell or range of cells that you want to format.
    • To copy the formatting to several cells or ranges of cells, drag the mouse pointer across the cells or ranges of cells that you want to format.
    • To copy the formatting to several text selections, click each text selection that you want to format.
  2. To stop formatting, press ESC.

 Notes 

  • For text selections with multiple words, clicking within a word applies the formatting to that word only, and dragging across the text selection applies the formatting to all of the words.
  • To copy the width of one column to a second column, select the heading of the first column, click Format Painter, and then click the heading of the column that you want to apply the column width to.
  • You cannot copy the column width if a merged cell includes the column from which you want to copy the width.
  • You can copy formatting from a picture (such as the picture's border or the shape that the picture appears in) by using the steps above.
  • You can select WordArt (WordArt: Text objects you create with ready-made effects to which you can apply additional formatting options.) text and then use Format Painter to apply the font and font size to other text as long as the text is within a shape. It is not possible to apply WordArt formatting directly to text in a worksheet.
  • If you apply three-dimensional (3-D) effects, such as a 3-D WordArt style or Warp Transform effect, to text in a shape (to copy the effects applied to the text in the shape), you must use Format Painter to copy all of the shape formatting and not just the text formatting.

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Outlook

  1. Select the shape, object (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.), or text that has the formatting that you want to copy.
  2. On the Message tab, in the Clipboard group, do one of the following:
    • To copy the formatting to one other shape, object, cell, or text selection, click Format Painter.
    • To copy the formatting to multiple shapes, objects, cells, or text selections, double-click Format Painter.

Format Painter in Clipboard group

The pointer changes to a paintbrush.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To copy the formatting to a single shape, object or piece of text, click the shape, object or text that you want to format.
    • To copy the formatting to several text selections, click each text selection that you want to format.
  2. To stop formatting, press ESC.

 Notes 

  • For text selections with multiple words, clicking within a word applies the formatting to that word only, and dragging across the text selection applies the formatting to all of the words.
  • You can copy formatting from a picture (such as the picture's border or the shape that the picture appears in) by using the steps above.

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PowerPoint

For information on the changing the color of text or changing fonts, see Change the color of text or Change the fonts. For more information on copying slides, see Copy and paste your slides.

  1. Select the shape, object (object: A table, chart, graphic, equation, or other form of information. Objects created in one application, for example spreadsheets, and linked or embedded in another application are OLE objects.), text, or worksheet cell that has the formatting that you want to copy.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, do one of the following:
    • To copy the formatting to one other shape, object, cell, or text selection, click Format Painter.
    • To copy the formatting to multiple shapes, objects, cells, or text selections, double-click Format Painter.

Format Painter in Clipboard group

The pointer changes to a paintbrush.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To copy the formatting to a single shape, object or piece of text, click the shape, object or text that you want to format.
    • To copy the formatting to several text selections, click each text selection that you want to format.
  2. To stop formatting, press ESC.

 Notes 

  • If you apply three-dimensional (3-D) effects, such as a 3-D WordArt style or Warp Transform effect, to text in a shape (to copy the effects applied to the text in the shape), you must use Format Painter to copy all of the shape formatting and not just the text formatting.
  • You can also use CTRL+SHIFT+C to copy formatting and CTRL+SHIFT+V to paste formatting.
  • You cannot copy paragraph formatting, such as line spacing and indent settings. You can only copy text formatting, such as highlighting, text color, font face, font size, and other text-formatting options.

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Word

For information on using the Format Painter in Word, see Use the Format Painter.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007