Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
A New Kind of Copy—and Paste
Note that the paintbrush icon makes its appearance onscreen, along with the marching ants buzzing around the
border of the cell whose formatting you’re copying (or “painting”).
Then click the cell or drag over the cells to which you want to copy the source formatting. These destination cells
immediately acquire the source formats, and the paintbrush and the ants disappear.
Thus if the above-mentioned B6 serves as the source cell, all its formats, but only its formats, will
be exported to the destination cells, overwriting all their current formatting—while leaving their data
alone. So if B6 contains the phrase “Have a Good Day,” it won’t be br oug ht al on g for the r i de ; an d the
data residing in the destination cell(s) will now appear in the 18-point Bookman Old Style font, along
with the green, underlined, centered attributes, too, all of which come from B6. Note that the Format
Pa i n te r ca n wor k pr oa cti v e l y , to copy for ma ts to ce l l s tha t a r e cur r e n tl y e mpty . Wha t tha t me a n s, of
course, is that if you’ve executed a Format Painter command on a vacant cell, any data you enter from
now on in the cell will display the new formats.
You also need to bear in mind that number formats are part of the deal. That is, if your source cell
exhibits numbers with 2 decimal points, or displays a number as a Short Date, these elements will also
be i mpose d on de sti n ati on ce l l s.
And if you double-click the Format Painter button, its paintbrush remains onscreen for as long as
you need it. In this way you’ll be able to apply the source cell formats to as many cells on your
worksheet as you want, by repeatedly clicking or dragging cells across the sheet. And to eventually
turn the Painter off, just press Esc.
What we’re seeing here with Format Painter is a revelation of sorts: that copying and pasting can
copy a n d pa ste more (or less) than just data. In fact, Excel stocks a broad array of Paste options that do a
variety of things, some of which at first blush may seem bewilderingly similar.
In our initial discussion of Paste in Chapter 2 we looked at, among other pasting options, the Paste
button in the Clipboard group. If you click its down arrow (you’ll have to copy something first, though,
in order to activate Paste), you’ll see (Figure 4–88):
Figure 4–88. The various Paste options
 
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