Expand The Use Of Format Painter In Word

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. Format Painter is a very handy tool for copying a format style from one place to another, but it seems to work with only one section at a time. Is there a way to get it to work like a rubber stamp in as many different places as I wish?

A. Yes, there is, but before I show you, I want readers to understand how to use Format Painter , which is in your Word and Excel toolbar and looks like a paintbrush.

Let’s say you have a word (or a sentence or paragraph or spreadsheet cell) whose format you’d like to replicate in another part of your document or worksheet. Begin by highlighting the source word (or whatever it is) and then click on Format Painter . As you move your cursor, it instantly will change to a small paintbrush. Wipe it across the words or cells to which you want the new formatting to apply and click again. That’s it: The target text or cell will have the new formatting.

Now to answer your question—how can you use the Format Painter on multiple sections of your document or spreadsheet without going back each time to copy the format source? After you highlight the formatted characters you want to copy, double-click on the Format Painter and paint the formatting style anywhere you want. The cursor-turned-paintbrush will remain as long as you wish. To turn it off, press Esc or click again on the Format Painter icon.

If Format Painter is not in your toolbar, click on Tools , Customize , the Commands tab and then Format. Cursor down the list and when you find the paintbrush icon just drag it up to your toolbar.

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