Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Shortcut Key for Format Painter.

Shortcut Key for Format Painter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 4, 2015)

9

Fred loves to use the Format Painter, but doesn't like to use the mouse to use the tool. He would find it much easier to use if there were a shortcut key instead. Unfortunately, Excel doesn't provide a single shortcut key you can use for the Format Painter. You can, however, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cell from which the format is to be copied.
  2. Press Ctrl+C. This copies the cell to the Clipboard.
  3. Select the cells to receive the format.
  4. Press Alt+E, S, T, Enter. This sequence displays the Paste Special dialog box and chooses to paste only the format.

In step 4 you could also press Shift+F10 rather than Alt+E. The first displays the Context menu for the cells and the other uses the regular menu system.

If you prefer a real shortcut key (only a single key press), then you will need to develop your own macro to paste only the format. The following is an example of such a macro.

Sub PasteSpecialFormats()
    If Application.CutCopyMode = False Then
        Beep
        MsgBox "No formatting in Clipboard"
    Else	
        Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlFormats
    End If
End Sub

To use the macro, follow steps 1 through 3 as previously outlined, and then run the macro. Since the macro can be assigned to a shortcut key, you end up with an easier shortcut than what has already been discussed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3225) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Shortcut Key for Format Painter.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of the Task Pane on Startup

Tired of the task pane appearing every time you start Word? Here's how to get rid of it.

Discover More

Automatically Adjusting Height for Text Boxes

Text boxes are often used to enhance the layout of documents. You may want a text box that adjusts its height automatically ...

Discover More

Displaying the "Last Modified" Date

Want to know when a workbook was last modified? Want to put that date within the header of your worksheet? Here's how to ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Number Formatting Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can save time and make developing a workbook much easier. Here's how to apply the most common of Excel's ...

Discover More

Using Copy and Paste for Formatting

Want to copy formatting from one cell and paste it into another cell? It's easy to do if you use the Paste Special feature of ...

Discover More

Changing Cell Colors

If you need to change the color with which a particular cell is filled, the easier method is to use the Fill Color tool, as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 0?

2016-11-17 04:23:40

Hawk

For those who use a keyboard with a "right click" key, it becomes very simple:
- Select the cell to copy from
- Ctrl + C
- Select the target cell
- "Right click key" + R


2016-06-20 15:03:02

Alok

Alt+E, S == Ctrl+Alt+V


2016-06-03 03:42:15

Ajay

HELPFUL


2016-03-19 08:54:34

Kelvin

This really helps a lot, thank you for the generous sharing.


2016-03-06 09:06:18

Belle

Helpful, thank you!


2016-01-11 19:02:43

Will Long

Please disregard the forward slash at the end of my last message, it was supposed to be a period.


2016-01-11 18:59:59

Will Long

I don't think anyone would want to go through all those steps to avoid using a mouse when a combination of mouse and keyboard would be far more efficient.

Better yet, highlight the field you want to format paint using and then press Control+C, than right click the field you want to format paint and press "R"/


2015-10-26 14:32:59

Kevin

helpful, thank you


2015-10-15 04:50:41

AJAY JAIN

thanx


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share