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Paint More Than One Format in MS Excel

I’m sure that we all know about the wonders of the format painter in all of the Microsoft Office Programs but did you know that in Excel you can get it to paint more than one format type at a time?

No, probably not – but it’s definitely worth the time to take a look.

How many times have you had multiple formats within the same worksheet?

Maybe different columns of data need different formatting something like this:


(OK – so that formatting is a bit extreme – but you get the idea.)

While we’re used to copying formatting types individually and then painting it to the range of cells to be affected – we can also paint multiple formats down those columns.

Instead of selecting a single cell select them all.

Then when you paint the formatting select all the cells that should be affected.


Poof! Formats are painted into relative locations and nothing outside of the selected area is affected.

If you’re painting to a bigger area then you started with then you’ll find that the painting is done to mimic the order of things from the original cells. I recommend that you do a little bit of testing and you’ll find that the outcome is pretty easy to predict.

It works with entire columns, rows or a selected range of cells.

Any way that you look at it – it’s a time saver… painting multiple formats will always beat doing them one at a time!