Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
You will use the Format Painter button to copy the format used in the sales figures and
to paste that format into the range E23:E26.
To copy the formatting to the range E23:E26 using the Format
1. Select cell B7 , which contains the formatting that you want to copy. You do not have to
copy the entire range, because the range is formatted in the same way.
2. Click the Format Painter button on the Standard toolbar. As you move the pointer
over the worksheet area, the pointer changes to
3. Drag the pointer over the range E23:E26 to apply the modified Comma style format to the
Another approach is to use the fill handle discussed in Tutorial 2 to fill in the format
(not the values) from one cell to another. To use this approach, you have click the Auto Fill
Options button and select the Fill Formatting option. This technique only works when the
cell or cells that you want to format are adjacent to the cell containing the format you
want to copy. You can also use the Paste Special command from the Copy and Paste but-
tons to paste only the format of a selected group of cells into a new range of cells. This
technique was also discussed in Tutorial 2. One of the advantages of the Format Painter
button is that it does what these two methods do, but it does so in fewer steps. However,
you should use the approach with which you feel most comfortable.
The Format Painter button and the buttons on the Formatting toolbar are fast and easy
ways to copy and apply cell formats, but on occasion you will need more control over
your formatting choices than is provided by these toolbar buttons. In those cases, you will
need to use the Format Cells dialog box.
Using the Format Cells Dialog Box
Joan agrees that formatting the values has made the worksheet easier to read, but she has
a few other suggestions. She does not like the way the currency values are displayed with
the dollar signs placed at the left edge of the cell, leaving a large blank space between the
dollar sign and the numbers, which is characteristic of values that use an accounting for-
mat. She would rather see the dollar sign placed directly to the left of the dollar amounts,
which would eliminate the blank space.
The convenience of the Formatting toolbar’s one-click access to many of the formatting
tasks you will want to perform does have its limits. As you can see in the worksheet, when
you use the Formatting toolbar, you cannot specify how the format is applied. To make the
change that Joan suggests, you will open the Format Cells dialog box, which gives you
more control over the formatting by providing categories of formats from which you can
choose and modify to suit your needs.