Cell formats are a good way to add custom styling to your spreadsheets. Often, you’ll find yourself wanting to use the very same formats again and again. Fortunately, Excel offers a quick way to do exactly that, without the need to start from scratch. Let’s learn how to use Format Painter in Microsoft Excel.
How to Use Format Painter in Excel
Imagine that you’re working in a spreadsheet with a list of data values. For one of the cells, you’ve added some custom formatting elements. For example, in cell B2 here, you’ve made the price bold, and changed the text color from black to orange.
Now, you want to apply the identical formatting to a different cell, like cell B6. Of course, you could always apply the color and bold effects manually, just as you did with cell B2. But thanks to the Format Painter feature in Excel, there’s a much easier way to copy the formatting and duplicate it in other cells.
To start using Format Painter, begin by clicking into the cell containing the formatting that you wish to copy. Here, that’s cell B2. Then, find the Home tab. This is located on Excel’s ribbon at the top of your screen.
On the left side, you’ll see a paintbrush icon. This is the Format Painter feature. With your cell selected, click on Format Painter.
Excel will, in essence, copy the formatting from the selected cell. From here, you have two options. To apply the formatting to a single cell, simply click into that cell. Here, we’ll use cell B6. As you can see, Excel will instantly apply the copied formatting to the newly-chosen cell.
You can also use Format Painter across multiple cells, for example, the range B3:B5. Repeat the earlier steps of selecting B2 and clicking Format Painter. Then, simply drag your cursor across the range. Format Painter will apply the formatting to all three cells.
As you can see, Format Painter is a quick and easy way to duplicate cell formats in Excel.