How to Use One of the Most Powerful Excel Tools: The Format Painter (Video)

April 13, 2017

This tool allows you to quickly copy format from one cell to another, which saves you a tremendous amount of time.

One of the most powerful features across the Microsoft Office platform is also one of the most overlooked and underused. I’m talking about the Format Painter tool, and it allows you to copy formatting from one paragraph, photo and even a cell in Excel.

If you’ve spent a lot of time getting a photo, paragraph or cell just right, you can click once and bring over all that time to another cell. Text orientation, color, special effects, font properties –no matter how much formatting you’ve done – you can copy it all in one click.

To use this in Excel, start by getting your initial cell ready with all the formatting you want, and then click the Format Painter tool on the Home ribbon tab (next to Paste on the left side of the screen).

Immediately click the cell you want to copy the formatting to, and it will change. You can change multiple cells to the same formatting by double-clicking the Format Painter tool. Continue clicking and changing cells.

When you’re finished, hit the Escape key on your keyboard.

If you’ve worked hard on a cell’s formatting, don’t reinvent the wheel. Use the Format Painter tool. It’s also available in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

You can see how to use the tool here:

Want to fully unlock the power of Microsoft Excel? Check out all of our LinkedIn Learning courses on the topic.