Tips – Format Painter feature in Microsoft Office

painter - source image:- Pixabay free images

In all the years that this feature has been available it still astounds me to find that people just don’t know it exists or how very useful it can be. How many times do you find yourself recreating a particular one off style for the titles in Word or number formatting in Excel. You need consistency in your presentation of which ever document you create. Therefore do you take a gamble that it is the same as you’ve used before. Or, do you take a while in finding an example in your document with the right look and ‘deconstruct’ it as it were to discover the right typeface, colour size, layout etc.

Well fret no more! Format painter to the rescue!

Once you have created a look – be it in Word, Excel PowerPoint of Outlook you can use the Format Painter Tool to reproduce the same look to a different part of your document.

Here is an example in MS Word.

The text – just plain with no formatting.

Plain Text

Here is the same piece with formatting of heading and special text within the body of the text.

To reproduce the formatting for each heading and special text would take a long time. Using the Format Painter takes seconds.

Here is the result.

Painter result

How to use the Format Painter Tool

  • Firstly, change the formatting to one piece of your document.
  • Select that piece.
  • Find the Format Painter Tool in the Clipboard section of the Home Tab Ribbon.

Format Painter Tool

  • Click once on the is tool.
  • Move to the next piece of text that you wish to look the same and click hold and drag over the entire word or words so that the painter paints the formatting on that piece.

Once you have done that your mouse cursor will automatically return to its normal state, and you cannot paint the same formatting onto any other area of your document.

  • If you Double click on the format Painter Tool then you will be able to paint the formatting on several areas of your document.
  • To return to being able to type you need to put the painter away by clicking on the format painter tool in the Ribbon.

This tool will save you hours of work in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. It’s so easy to change your mind and paint a new set of formatting on the same areas. Or take it back to the way you started.

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