Using the Word Format Painter

There are times when you are working on a Word document, and you have to match the formatting on your content to formatting found somewhere else in the document. Rather than try and figure out the font settings, you can instead use the Format Painter option to automatically match things up. Here’s how…

Here’s a document that has a Heading 1 setting on the first line and Book Antiqua 11 point font on the second. The third and fourth lines are just default Calibri 11 point font, but I’m going to want them to match the first and second lines:


First, I highlight a snippet of text that has the formatting I want, and then I click on Home > Format Painter to start the Format Painter option:


At this point, my cursor (which you do not see in this screen capture) changes to a picture of a paint brush. I click, drag, and highlight the text I want formatted (“And this is just random stuff I have out there…”) to match the previously highlighted text (“This is a customized line of text”):


As soon as I release the cursor, the highlighted text is formatted to match the source formatting:


The same thing works if I have something formatted as a heading. I highlight the heading and click Home > Format Painter:


Since the formatting for a heading applies to the entire line, all I have to do is click the new line I wanted formatted as a Heading 1 (“And another line that should be a heading”), and it immediately picks up the Heading 1 format:


While it may be just as easy to highlight text and reset the font in many cases, the Format Painter can save you a lot of time if the formatting is a bit more complex than just a font change.

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