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 February 18, 2020)

13

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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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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Comments

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What is one less than 2?

2020-05-24 09:01:55

akif

thank you it is easier to use mouse.


2019-09-21 08:21:24

Forgotten Mario Brother Nario Mario

There's actually an alternative and *MUCH, MUCH* easier work-around:

Use the Quick-Access Toolbar.

First, some quick set-up. Open an Excel document, right-click the Format Painter icon, and select "Add to Quick-Access Toolbar." Now press Enter/Return. You've now added the Format Painter icon to the Quick-Access Toolbar.

You should now just need to press Alt and then 5. :-)

That's your shortcut key combo now for Format Painter.

But if not, press the Alt Key, and you'll see the number key on your keyboard that you need to press to use Format Painter. If you want to go nuts with Quick Access Toolbar icons, here's how this works with lots of Quick Access Toolbar icons. After 9 Quick-Access Toolbar icons, the numbers will be 09, 08, 07, and so on. For 09, press Alt, then 0, then 9. For 08, press Alt, then 0, then 8. And so on. If you have more Quick-Access Toolbar icons than what will fit, you will get a "More" icon. To access *any* Quick Access Toolbar icons, you need to press Alt, then 0, then 0, and then another 0, followed by a letter or number.


2018-05-14 04:46:46

srimahesh

thank you i was literally searching for it


2017-10-27 10:21:51

Tony

thank you for this. Really helpful.


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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