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Copy text formats in Microsoft® Word

Application Microsoft® Word® Version 1.00
Author OfficeHelp
Tested on versions: 2000 (9.0) - should work on any version from Office 97


Recognize the problem? You're typing a word document and the text is in a different format from another document or even part of the same document. You need to harmonize. So you need to check the format of the source document and manually apply each format to the new text, right? WRONG.

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.


Copying formats between blocks of text is easy when the right tool is applied: Word "Format Painter".

How it Works 

Open the source and target blocks of text. They may reside on the same or different documents and can be 

1) You have two blocks of text, one of which is correctly formatted:

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

2) Select the text block you want to use as format source:

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

3) Click on the Format Painter icon 

Format poainter Icon

4) Select the target text block and click the left mouse button to release the formats on the selected text:

  1. Margins and indents are included on the format copy, as well as bullets;

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

5) Only formats that apply to ALL source block are copied. The bolds and underlines on the source block were not copied because they only apply to some parts of the text

6) If a single word is used as source, then it’s format is applied to all target block;

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

It is possible to copy formats between blocks of text, from the same or different documents, as easily as copy/paste. Save time and trouble formatting professional looking word documents.

What if the Format Painter icon is not present on the toolbar? 

Word toolbars are dynamic, at least from Office 2000. It means that some icons will be removed if unused. On the right side of the main toolbar, there is an “expansion” icon where hidden icons can be found:

Finding the Format Painter Icon

If you can’t really find it, use the keyboard shortcut: CTRL + SHIFT + C

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