Excel Tip Tuesday: Using the Format Painter

Posted by Lisa on June 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Excel IconDid you ever wonder what that little paintbrush on the Home tab in Excel does? It's called the Format Painter, and it can save you so much time - and so many extra menu clicks - when you want to make mismatched formatting uniform. In other words, the Format Painter is a one-click option to copy formatting from one cell to many others.

Excel Tips - Format Painting1

In the screenshot below, you can see that I have different formats for the dates and the amounts. I want the dates and the amounts to be formatted the same. I could select each one and make several formatting selections from my tabs and menus. But why waste the time with that repetitive task? By selecting the cell that has the desired format, clicking the Format Painter button on the Home tab, then selecting all the cells I want to apply the format to, I can instantly change my date and amounts from this...

Excel Tips - Format Painting2...to this!

Excel Tips - Format Painting3

You can also “paint” multiple cells by double-clicking the Format Painter button on the Home tab, which locks it in the on position. For example, after selecting the Name cell, I double-clicked the Format Painter on the Home tab, and then I clicked on the Date and Sales cells sequentially. Excel copied the format to both those columns, and now my headers look like this:

Excel Tips - Format Painting4To turn off Format Painter, simply click the button again on the Home tab. You'll also find the Format Painter in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. It's a great time-saving tool, wherever you come across it!

Leave us a comment and let readers know what Excel tips you use on a daily basis.

Topics: Excel

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