How to Quickly and Easily Copy Formatting in Word


Copying and pasting content in Word documents is a common task. However, you can also copy and paste formatting from one block of text (including images) to another. This can be handy if you want to apply the same formatting to multiple areas in your document.

NOTE: We used Word 2013 to illustrate this feature.

To copy the formatting from a block of text and/or images, highlight the content.

NOTE: To copy both text and paragraph formatting, select an entire paragraph, including the paragraph mark. To make this easier, you can show paragraph marks by showing non-printing characters.


In the “Clipboard” section of the “Home” tab, click “Format Painter.”


The cursor changes to a paint brush. Select the text to which you want to copy the formatting. When you release the mouse button, the formatting is copied to the selected text, as shown in the image at the beginning of this article.


To copy formatting to multiple blocks of text and/or images, double-click the “Format Painter” button. Then, you can apply that formatting to other areas of your document. To stop copying formatting, click the “Format Painter” button once more or press the “Esc” key.

NOTE: For copying formatting from graphics, the “Format Painter” tool works best with drawing objects, such as AutoShapes. However, you can also copy formatting from an inserted picture (such as the picture’s border).

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.