How to Copy Formatting Between Paragraphs in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Copying formatting between paragraphs in Word might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple. All it takes is a few clicks and you’ll have your text looking uniform and professional in no time. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Step by Step Tutorial: Copy Formatting Between Paragraphs in Word

Before we start, it’s important to know that this process involves using the Format Painter tool. This nifty feature allows you to copy formatting from one part of your document to another quickly and easily.

Step 1: Select the formatted text

Click and drag your mouse over the text with the formatting you want to copy.

Selecting the right text is crucial because it sets the standard for the formatting you want to apply elsewhere. Make sure you’ve got the font, size, color, and any other styles exactly how you want them before moving on.

Step 2: Click the Format Painter button

Find the Format Painter tool in the Clipboard group on the Home tab and click it.

The Format Painter looks like a little paintbrush. If you’ve selected your text correctly, clicking this button will store its formatting. Once clicked, your cursor will change to a paintbrush icon, indicating you’re ready to ‘paint’ that formatting elsewhere.

Step 3: Apply the formatting to the new text

Highlight the text you want to reformat, and it will automatically update to match the formatting you copied.

When you drag your cursor over the new text, you’ll see the formatting change in real-time. This is where the magic happens! Keep in mind that as soon as you release the mouse button, the Format Painter will deactivate.

After completing these steps, your paragraphs will now share the same formatting style. This can give your document a consistent and polished look, enhancing its overall readability and professionalism.

Tips: Copy Formatting Between Paragraphs in Word

  • If you want to apply the formatting to more than one section, double-click the Format Painter button. This keeps it active until you deactivate it by pressing the ESC key or clicking the Format Painter button again.
  • Be mindful of what you’re copying. Format Painter copies all formatting aspects, including font, size, color, alignment, and more. Ensure you only have the formatting you want to be replicated selected.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process. After selecting the formatted text, you can press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy the formatting and Ctrl + Shift + V to apply it to another section.
  • Format Painter works between different Word documents. You can open two documents side by side and use the tool to copy formatting from one to the other.
  • Remember to check your document after using Format Painter. Sometimes, unexpected changes might occur, like affecting bullet points or numbering. A quick review can help you catch these changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Format Painter to copy formatting to multiple places in my document?

Yes, you can. By double-clicking the Format Painter button, you can apply the formatting to multiple areas until you deactivate the tool.

Will Format Painter copy the text content as well?

No, Format Painter only copies the formatting, not the text content itself. You’ll need to use standard copy and paste functions to duplicate text.

Is it possible to use Format Painter between different Microsoft Office applications?

Format Painter is primarily used within the same application. While copying formatting between different Word documents is possible, it’s not designed for use across different Office applications.

Can I undo the formatting applied with Format Painter?

Absolutely! Just like any other action in Word, you can undo the formatting by pressing Ctrl + Z or using the Undo button.

Does Format Painter work with images and objects?

Yes, it does. Format Painter can be used to copy the formatting of images and shapes, such as borders and effects, within your Word document.


  1. Select the text with the desired formatting.
  2. Click the Format Painter button.
  3. Apply the formatting to the new text.


Copying formatting between paragraphs in Word is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Using the Format Painter tool can significantly cut down on the time you spend formatting your documents, making your workflow more efficient and your documents more cohesive. Remember, consistency is key in professional writing, and this tool ensures just that.

But don’t stop at text! Explore the possibilities of applying consistent formatting to images and other objects in your documents. The more comfortable you get with Format Painter, the more polished your projects will become. So go ahead, give it a try and watch your documents transform with just a few clicks. And remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering this handy feature in Microsoft Word.

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