Format Painter Shortcut

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 13, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


1

Many people use the Format Painter tool to copy formatting from one place to another in a document. Unfortunately, using the Format Painter requires that you take your hands off the keyboard and use the mouse—a process that is anathema to many people who would rather use the keyboard for all their tasks.

In reality, Word does provide simple keyboard commands for copying and pasting formatting. The shortcut for copying formatting is Ctrl+Shift+C and the shortcut for pasting is Ctrl+Shift+V.

If you place the insertion point into a paragraph or select the entire paragraph, then Ctrl+Shift+C copies the formatting of the entire paragraph. This includes Bullets & Numbering, spacing, indentation, style, character formatting that's shared by most characters, etc. If you select a short text selection (perhaps one or two words) without selecting the end-of-paragraph marker, then Ctrl+Shift+C only copies character formatting (bold, italic, underline, etc.).

The keyboard commands to copy and paste formatting are actually more powerful than the Format Painter tool. With the keyboard, you can copy formatting, perform numerous other actions, and still paste the formatting anywhere into an open document as many times as you want. So long as you don't copy different formatting, the same formatting will be ready to paste for the entire Word session. You can think of it as copying formatting to the Clipboard, even though the Windows Clipboard really isn't involved.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (193) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Selecting a Paper Size

Most of the time we print on whatever is a standard paper size for our area, such as letter size or A4 paper. However, ...

Discover More

Changing Roman Numerals to Arabic

In some documents Roman numerals might be used quite a bit. If you ever want to change the Roman numerals to their Arabic ...

Discover More

Specifying a Browser in a Hyperlink

Excel allows you to easily add hyperlinks to a worksheet. Click on it, and the target of the link is opened in a browser ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Finding Default Shortcut Keys

There are scores of shortcut keys defined in Word. If you want to discover what all those shortcut keys are, here are a ...

Discover More

Changing Text Case

Word provides a built-in shortcut to change the case of a text selection. Understanding how that shortcut works (and the ...

Discover More

Keyboard Control of the Find and Replace Dialog Box

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? This tip explains how you can use the keyboard to work with the Find and ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 9?

2022-03-02 04:32:25

AbdulHakim Maina

What a wonderful tip, Allen! You just saved my hair (I was about to pull some of it off).

My Word 2016 doesn't allow me to lock the format painter by double-clicking the button on the toolbar, so I've been having to click the format painter button multiple times.

This tip definitely saves me the time and effort, and as you quite rightly mentioned, the shortcuts are actually superior to the button as they can be used at any time to paint the last copied format.

Thank you very much once again.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.