How to Copy Formatting in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Users

How to Copy Formatting in Word

Copying formatting in Word is a breeze once you know how to do it. It involves using a tool called the Format Painter, which lets you copy the style, font, and other text characteristics from one part of your document to another. It’s like using a magic wand to make your document look polished and consistent without manually applying the same formatting over and over again.

Step-By-Step Tutorial to Copy Formatting in Word

Here’s a quick and easy guide to copying formatting in Word using the Format Painter. Follow these steps, and you’ll have your document looking sharp in no time.

Step 1: Open Your Document

Open the Word document you want to work on.

Make sure you have the document open where you want to copy the formatting. It’s always good to know exactly where you’re starting from.

Step 2: Select the Text with the Desired Formatting

Highlight the text that has the formatting you want to copy.

This means clicking and dragging your cursor over the text. The Format Painter will remember all the formatting details of the selected text.

Step 3: Click the Format Painter Tool

Go to the Home tab on the Ribbon and click the Format Painter icon, which looks like a little paintbrush.

When you click the Format Painter, your cursor will change to a paintbrush icon, indicating that you are ready to copy the formatting.

Step 4: Apply the Formatting

Highlight the text you want to apply the copied formatting to.

Click and drag your cursor over the new text you want to format. Once you release the mouse button, the new text will adopt the formatting from the original text.

Step 5: Repeat if Necessary

If you have multiple places you need to apply the same formatting, double-click the Format Painter in Step 3.

Double-clicking allows you to apply the formatting to multiple sections without having to re-click the Format Painter each time. Just remember to turn it off by clicking the icon again when you’re done.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the text you selected will have the same formatting as the original text. This makes your document look neat and professional without a lot of extra work.

Tips for Copying Formatting in Word

  • Use the Format Painter sparingly to ensure you maintain consistent formatting throughout your document.
  • Double-click the Format Painter if you need to apply the formatting to multiple sections.
  • Be sure to know what formatting you’re copying; sometimes unwanted styles may transfer.
  • Save your document before making extensive formatting changes to avoid losing your work.
  • You can also copy formatting between different Word documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Format Painter in Word?

The Format Painter is a tool in Microsoft Word that allows you to copy formatting from one part of your document and apply it to another.

Can I use the Format Painter across different documents?

Yes, you can use the Format Painter to copy formatting from one Word document to another.

What kinds of formatting can I copy with the Format Painter?

You can copy various formatting styles such as font type, size, color, alignment, and text styles like bold or italic.

How do I turn off the Format Painter?

Simply click the Format Painter icon again to turn it off, or press the Esc key on your keyboard.

Can I use the Format Painter for paragraph formatting?

Yes, you can use the Format Painter to copy and apply paragraph formatting, including spacing, indentation, and alignment.


  1. Open your document.
  2. Select the text with the desired formatting.
  3. Click the Format Painter tool.
  4. Apply the formatting to new text.
  5. Repeat if necessary.


There you have it—a simple guide to mastering how to copy formatting in Word! Knowing how to use the Format Painter can save you loads of time and ensure your documents look consistent and professional. It’s a handy tool for anyone who works with text on a regular basis, from students to professionals. Don’t forget to explore other features Word has to offer to make your work even more efficient. Happy formatting!