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.

6 comments
Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you have a favorite Word shortcut to share with your peers?

stapleb
stapleb

Two of my favourites (sorry, Aussie spelling) are Ctrl + Space to remove ALL character formatting and Ctrl + Q to remove ALL paragraph formatting. Both these return all selected text to the Style in use and enable you to "start from scratch". I use the keyboard a lot as I'm a touch typist, but I like to encourage people to use both keyboard and mouse so that they do not end up with wrist problems - and I have seen many people trying to deal with overuse of a tool, particularly their mouse.

dhays
dhays

I regularly use th ectl-c, ctl-v, ctl-s. and now the shift-alt-up or down arrow in a table. However, the shift-ctl-c does not work in a table situation, it copies nothing, nor does shift-ctl-v paste anything (W2003). I would like to see something like this copy and paste a shading format to another row in a table. Even the format painter doesn't do that. I have a table with a list of dated items and I keep the weeks separated by shading the rows of a particular week different colors than the previous or the next week's infomation, that way one can see the week's listing at a glance. In Excel the information has a weekly date cell above each week. One reason I have it in Excel and Word is that Word data copies to Lotus Notes easier than Excel. A set of tables similar to what I have in Excel is then sent to my Points Of Contact to show them what they have due by weeks.

supm1ke
supm1ke

I have always been a "keyboarder", I guess you can say. I do not use the mouse unless I really have to. I use the ALT + the underlined letters to access my menus and I have memorized them for most of the programs I use. I have to say that I was very disappointed with the Office 2007 Ribbon Bar because they totally screwed up my shortcuts. As far as actually shortcuts, I like Ctrl+[Arrow key] to navigate through paragraphs in documents, and if you add Shift to that combo you will select words at a time instead of letters. You can use Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End as well to jump to the beginning or end of a document. Check out this link to Microsoft's web site that has keyboard shortcuts compatible with Microsoft Word 2002, 2003, and 2007: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290938

ssharkins
ssharkins

Mark, the shortcuts I use most frequently are [Ctrl]+a to select everything and [Ctrl]+c and [Ctrl]+v -- copy and paste. I probably share that set with most of the Word-using population! ;) But my favorite is [Shift]+[Alt]+arrow, which moves a selection up or down -- love, love, love it -- even works to move a row in a table!

vidhyarthi
vidhyarthi

ctrl + shift + N = Apply the Normal style Ctrl-] Increase the font size by 1 point Ctrl-[ Decrease the font size by 1 point

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