Excel: Copy Formatting from One Cell or Range to Another

Posted August 30, 2006 by Rob Rogers in Microsoft Excel

To copy formatting from one cell or a range of cells to another cell or range of cells, use the Format Painter feature.

1. Select the cell or range that has the formatting you want to copy.
2. Click the Format Painter button on the Formatting toolbar. Excel will change the cursor to a brush and display an outline around the cell or range that
contains the copied formatting.
3. Select the cell or range to which you want to apply the formatting.

After applying the formatting, Excel restores the normal cursor. If you need to
apply the formatting to multiple cells or ranges, double-click the Format Painter button to lock it. When finished, click the Format Painter button again to unlock it.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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The Conversation

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  • jon

    this is useless without an image of what the format painter tool looks like

    • Paul

      Its a paint brush in the standard toolbar.

  • steve

    Excel: Copy Formatting from One Cell or Range to Another

    This page rocks!


  • http://www.josserand.com Jesse Josserand

    Seems that formats do not copy fully correctly in Excel 2007.
    Had any trouble with this?
    Thanks for the double click comment. I was not aware of that feature!

  • http://cozinhasplanejadas.org Cozinhas Planejadas

    Thanks mate!
    Simple but precise what I needed!

  • Chocolate_humunculus

    All very nice, but how do I copy a cell and format in a formula? (not just basic text)

  • Allison

    WHERE is the format brush in Excel 2011?! I cannot find it.

    • http://www.tech-recipes.com/ Rob Rogers

      In Excel 2011:
      Right-click Toolbar and select Customize Toolbars and Menus.
      Select Commands.
      Go to All Commands.
      Find the Format Painter and drag it to the toolbar above the Ribbon.
      Now you always have the Format Painter tool.

  • Someone

    It does not work in Excel 2010 

  • NYMarge

    I can’t use the format painter, because I need to copy the format of SEVERAL cells which I am concatenating. Here’s my formula in Cell G3:
    = “1. “&a3&”, 2. “&b3 etc.

    In A3, the third, fourth and fifth words are italicised (book title); in B3, the 3rd through 6th words are italicized, etc. Cell G3 lists all the books that might be in A3 on. (Formula’s a little more complicated than above, testing for empty cells down the road, but never mind.) Main question is: