How to copy Cell formatting in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to copy Cell formatting in Excel.


Sometimes we come across problems like table formatting or cell formatting. For example Given a table with header formatting and cell formatting and given another table values and we need to apply the same formatting of first table to second table. For problems like these, we cannot find all types of format done on one cell. And doing it manually will take a lot of time and an average excel user doesn't spend much time on table formatting. Let's understand where to find Format painter option and how to use it to apply formatting to other table.

Format Painter in Excel

Format painter option only applies cell features like Font size, font style, font color, Cell style, cell color and border style.

Select the cell. Then Go to Home tab > Under it you will find the Cut, Copy and Format Painter option. This will copy the formatting of the cell. To apply, select multiple cells where you want to apply formatting at one go.

You can apply formatting to more than one cell.

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have two tables, one formatted and another is not. We need to apply the header formatting and table values formatting as per the first table. One way is You can format at one go. Another way is format header first and  then any particular column (like first column) and at last table values.

Select the Header column (formatted table) and Go to Home tab > Format painter .

As soon as you click the format painter option, you will see some changes in the selected cell display as shown above. It will be different from the select option.

Now your mouse painter will also show some brush options on it. This effect will last only for once. Now either you can apply the format of each cell like this. It will still take more time if you have more than headers and rows. So now you just select the cells at one go where you need to apply formatting.

As you can see formatting is applied to the overall header of the new table.

Alternate way : Format painter Shortcut key 

You can select the format painter option using Alt , H , F, P from the keyboard shortcut. To apply you have to select cells from the mouse.

Here are all the observational notes using the formula in Excel
Notes :

  1. All the formatting is applied. You cannot choose which type of cell formatting to be applied.
  2. Format painter doesn't edit cell values. It only formats cell features like Font size, font style, font color, Cell style, cell color and border style.
  3. You cannot apply formatting using keyboard keys. You have to use the mouse or touch trackpad.

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