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How to Use the Excel Format Painter in 60 Seconds

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Excel's Format Painter is one of those key time saving tools for styling your spreadsheets. With the Format Painter, we can quickly apply the styles from one table to another. 

How to Use Format Painter in Excel Quickly

 

Note: Watch this short tutorial screencast or follow these quick steps that compliment this video:

1. Excel Spreadsheet With Styled and Unstyled Formats

Let's say that we have a nicely styled list of data and an unstyled one, as you're seeing me work with here.

Excel Spreadsheet with styled and unstyled formats
Begin with styled and unstyled tables in Excel.

2. How to Use Format Painter to Style a Table in Excel

I can highlight the table on top that's already styled, then click on Format Painter and then click on the unstyled table. You'll see that the style is applied and the table is looking great. 

How to Apply Format Painter to a table in Excel
Apply Excel Format Painter to the unstyled table.

3. Apply Format Painter to Style Variable Size Tables

Let's switch sheets here. If my tables weren't the same size, I could just grab one of each type of style.I'll highlight a white row and a blue row here. 

Let's click the Format Painter again. Now, I'll click and drag over the entire unstyled table and it alternates the row colors, as well. 

How to use Format Painter to style variable size tables
How to use Format Painter to style variable size tables.

Excel basically loops over the rows and alternates applying the styles, no matter the size. Then I could Format Paint the header row separately.

Finishing Up!

I'll grab the header row in my original table, click Format Painter and then click on the other header row to be styled. 

More Helpful Excel Tutorials

Find more Excel tutorials on Envato Tuts+ to help you learn how to style and work with data better in your spreadhsheets.

Remember: Every Microsoft Excel technique you practice and tool you become familiar with, the better spreadsheets you'll be able to make.

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