Have you ever wanted to format a part of your document to match another part, but can’t seem to get it just right?

Microsoft Office has a built-in tool called the Format Painter that allows you to select one bit of text, copy just its formatting, and apply that format to another bit of text.

Here’s how:

  1. Select the portion of text you want to copy the formatting from.
  2. Click on the Format Painter button your your toolbar/ribbon.
    • Office 2011 for Mac: Office 2011 Format Painter (<–click to enlarge)
    • Office 2010 for Windows: Office 2010 Format Painter (<–click to enlarge)
  3. Your cursor will change to include a small image of a paint brush or plus sign.
  4. Use your cursor to select the text you would like formatting applied to.


  • You can double-click the Format Painter icon on your toolbar/ribbon to apply the copied formatting to multiple selections. Hit the Escape key when you are done.
  • For graphics, the Format Painter works best with drawing objects, such as AutoShapes. However, you can copy formatting from a picture (such as the picture’s border.)
  • The Format Painter cannot copy the font and font size on WordArt text.

Colby Apps Docs

Colby Apps Docs has a similar tool called Paint Format. It’s toolbar icon is a paint roller. Colby Apps Docs Paint Format