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Paint the File Red

Friday, July 20th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

Paint the File Red

Or, blue or whatever formatting you need!

Have you ever found yourself constantly applying the same formatting options over and over again in a file? Maybe you’re changing a font size, bolding and underlining line after line after line.

Are you getting tired of all the highlighting of text, changing the font sizes, clicking the bold button and then clicking the underline button over and over again?

Want a one button answer?

Well, of course you do. Don’t we all?!

The answer you’re looking for is in one little button called the Format Painter button.

Basically, what the Format Painter does is it takes the formatting from a highlighted section of text or cells and then it applies just the formatting to another section of text or cells that you select.

You should be able to find this wonderful invention in many of the MS Office Suite programs. I found it in MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

To begin, you’ll need to decide what formatting you want to copy. (Either format some of the text or cells in the current file or find another file with the formatting you need. In other words, you need some formatting to copy).

Now that you’ve got the formatting to copy, highlight it.

With the text or cell highlighted, click the Format Painter button (or use the keyboard combination of Ctrl + Shift + C).

Next, you’ll need to go and highlight the text or cells of which you want the formatting applied to. (If you used the key combination of Ctrl + Shift + C to copy the formatting, you’ll need to use Ctrl + Shift + V to paste the formatting into the new text or cell).


You should now have reformatted text with just one button and a couple of clicks. And, as a special bonus, the Format Painter has turned itself off, so you’re instantly on your way!

But wait! What’s that you say? You have more than one thing to format?

Looking for a way to format multiple things, without repeating the process over and over?

Good idea! Luckily, we can do that with just one extra click.

In order to use the Format Painter on multiple items, simply double click the button. This will turn the Format Painter on for as long as you need it.

Now, you’re ready to paste the formatting to your heart’s content!

(If you used the keyboard to copy and paste the formatting, remember that it’s still turned on. You can just highlight another section and use Ctrl + Shift + V to paste it again).

When you’re ready to turn off the Format Painter, simply click the Format Painter button again or hit the Esc key.

That’s it! Formatting really can be that easy. This is one you should definitely investigate. You’ll be amazed by how much time you can save. Now, if only there was a way to get back all that formatting time we’ve already wasted. Enjoy!

~ April

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