Hardware

Copy Word formats quickly with these keyboard shortcuts

Use Format Painter or these easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts, to quickly format one section of a document like another.

Format Painter is probably one of the most popular tools in Office. To quickly copy formatting from one area to another, you select the section that has the formatting you want copied, click Format Painter, and then click or select the section you want to update. As painless as the process is, some users still prefer keyboard shortcuts, and I aim to please.

The keyboard shortcuts for format-copying are:

  • [Ctrl]+[Shift]+c to copy.
  • [Ctrl]+[Shift]+v to paste.

Their similarity to the shortcuts for copy and paste make this set easy to remember, but there are a few guidelines you'll want to remember:

  • Position the insertion point in a paragraph or select the entire paragraph to copy paragraph formatting from one paragraph to another. This includes spacing, indention, character formats, bullets and numbering, and so on.
  • Select a section of text (a word or phrase), without selecting the end-of-paragraph marker to copy only character formatting such as bold, italics, underline, and so on.

These keyboard shortcuts offer a bit more flexibility than Format Painter. You can paste the same formats as many times as you like for as long as you like. You can continue to update the document in other ways and return to formatting based on the format you copied earlier. The copied format remains available until you replace it by copying another set of formats.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

Editor's Picks