Jul 8 2010

Quick Formatting Using Excel’s Format Painter

Formatting an entire spreadsheet to look just the way you desire can take longer than you’d expect. Clicking back and forth between the formatting options, usually repetitively, can possibly move the completion time of your project back. Excel does provide a quick way to copy a cell’s formatting and paste it to another cell or range of cells. Enter the Format Painter.


Using the Format Painter
The easiest way to describe the format painter is to show you how it works. Let’s walk through a few steps to show off it’s usefulness.

  1. Type text in 2 different cells that you want to copy the formatting from and to.
  2. Select your first cell on your spreadsheet making several formatting changes (ie. Bold, change font color, change the background color, etc.)
  3. Click on the Format Painter icon in the standard toolbar at the top of your spreadsheet (looks like a paintbrush).
  4. Now select the second cell that current has no formatting. Notice that before you clicked, the cursor had a paintbrush next to it. This tells you that when you click you will be copying the formatting from the previous cell

And that’s it. When you get used to using this feature of Excel, it can definitely speed up any project you’re working on. Imagine not have to replicate all of the clicks you made while formatting the first cell. With 2 clicks, it will now be copied exactly for you.

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3 Comments on this post


  1. Underfloor heating mats said:

    That features a good deal of exterior inbound links. Now I’m getting a message that a few of the inbound links cannot be up to date. I can see that the issue back links are to bogus paperwork. But I can not come across the inbound links them selves’. Is there a command in Excel that can lead me back again towards the inbound links that can not be updated?

    October 2nd, 2010 at 8:12 am
  2. Vi said:

    I really NEED a way to use format painter multiple times on nonadjacent cells. I do NOT like the fact I have to go UP to the icons and to use the format painter each and every time I need to paint the format to different cells in a spreadsheet. It is not a shortcut to me to have to click on the format painter for every single instance it is needed. Also, Why can’t we have the tear away tools (like in Excel 2003) to have them closer to the active part of the spreadsheet that needs changes?

    September 30th, 2011 at 8:14 am
  3. vyking said:

    Vi :
    double click on the format painter tool. then you can format multiple cells.

    May 30th, 2012 at 1:26 am

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