Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Fooling Around with the Format Painter
After you close the Merge Styles dialog box, Excel adds all the custom styles
from the designated workbook into the current workbook, adding them to
the Custom section of its Cell Styles gallery. To retain the custom styles you
just imported, save the current workbook (click the Save button on the Quick
Access toolbar or press Ctrl+S). Then, you can switch back to the workbook
containing the original custom styles you just copied and close its file (press
Fooling Around with the Format Painter
Using cell styles to format ranges of worksheet cells is certainly the way to
go when you have to apply the same formatting repeatedly in the workbooks
you create. However, there may be times when you simply want to reuse
a particular cell format and apply it to particular groups of cells in a single
workbook without ever bothering to open the Cell Styles gallery.
For those occasions when you feel the urge to format on the fly (so to speak),
use the Format Painter button (the paintbrush icon) in the Clipboard group
on the Home tab. This wonderful little tool enables you to take the formatting
from a particular cell that you fancy up and apply its formatting to other cells
in the worksheet simply by selecting those cells.
To use the Format Painter to copy a cell’s formatting to other worksheet
cells, just follow these easy steps:
1. Format an example cell or cell range in your workbook, selecting
whatever fonts, alignment, borders, patterns, and color you want it
to have.
2. Select one of the cells you just fancied up, and click the Format
Painter button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.
The mouse or Touch Pointer changes from the standard thick, white
cross to a thick, white cross with an animated paintbrush by its side,
and you see a marquee around the selected cell with the formatting to
be used by the Format Painter.
3. Drag the white-cross-plus-animated-paintbrush pointer (the Format
Painter pointer) through all the cells you want to format.
As soon as you release the mouse button, Excel applies all the
formatting used in the example cell to all the cells you just selected!
To keep the Format Painter selected so that you can format a bunch of
different cell ranges with the Format Painter pointer, double-click the Format
Painter button on the Home tab after you select the sample cell with the
desired formatting. To stop formatting cells with the Format Painter pointer,
you simply click the Format Painter button on the Home tab again (it remains
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