Copying Formatting with the Format Painter

The Format Painter is like a mini-formatting copier that is available on the Standard toolbar (its tool looks like a paintbrush). To use the Format Painter, select the text you want to use as a model, click the Format Painter tool, and then click the target cell or range of cells to "paint" it with the same formatting. The mouse pointer changes to a paintbrush during this process.

The next To Do exercise demonstrates how to use the Format Painter tool to copy formats in the My Budget workbook.

To Do: Copy Formats with the Format Painter Tool

  1. Click the Summary sheet tab. Select cell B3.

  2. Click the Format Painter button on the Standard toolbar. You should see a copy marquee surrounding cell B3. The mouse pointer should change to a white cross with a paintbrush. The cross and paintbrush indicate that you are copying formats, as shown in Figure 8.11.

    Figure 8.11. Copying formats with the Format Painter.


  3. Click and drag the mouse pointer down through cells A4 to A8.

  4. Release the mouse button. The copied formatting should be applied to the selected cells. The row headings are right-aligned with bold and italicized text. You want to left-align the headings.

  5. Click the Left Align button on the Formatting toolbar.

  6. Click any cell to deselect the range. Now the row headings look much better.

    Part I: Excel Basics