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February 08, 2020

Excel Tip: The Format Painter Tool and Double Clicking.

What does the Format Painter do?

It allows you to copy the style (color, font etc.) and apply the styling of the cell to another cell. It just copies the style – not the text.

Where do I find it?

The format painter tool is available in the upper left corner of the ‘Home’ Tab in Microsoft Excel. You might already be familiar with single clicking on it.

What does the Tool do?

It allows you to copy the formatting from one cell (or a range of cells) to another cell (or range of cells). It’s especially useful if you have multiple formats applied to cells that you want to repeat else where. It’s copy and paste, but it only copies the format not the actual content of the cell. For example, if you had a cell formatted BOLD, with a blue cell color you wouldn’t have to repeat all the steps multiple times.

What’s the difference between single and double clicking?


When you single click on the format painter (image that looks like a paint brush) it allows you to copy the cell format to one or more contiguous cells ( cells that are next to one another).


When you double click on the painter you can copy the format to non-contiguous cells. So if there are gaps in the areas you want to format use the double click. NOTE: Excel will continuously apply the format until you click on the format painter icon again.

See it in action:

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