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. ...

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What is 4 + 2?

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


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