Excel: Copy Formatting from One Cell or Range to Another

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.


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10 Responses to “Excel: Copy Formatting from One Cell or Range to Another”

  1. February 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm, jon said:

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


    • April 07, 2009 at 5:51 pm, Paul said:

      Its a paint brush in the standard toolbar.


  2. May 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm, steve said:

    Excel: Copy Formatting from One Cell or Range to Another

    This page rocks!



  3. July 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm, Jesse Josserand said:

    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!


  4. October 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm, Cozinhas Planejadas said:

    Thanks mate!
    Simple but precise what I needed!


  5. February 18, 2011 at 8:48 am, Chocolate_humunculus said:

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


  6. April 08, 2011 at 6:33 pm, Allison said:

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


    • April 09, 2011 at 5:25 am, Rob Rogers said:

      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.


  7. May 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm, Someone said:

    It does not work in Excel 2010 


  8. January 16, 2012 at 6:56 pm, NYMarge said:

    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:



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