Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Copying Character Formatting.

Copying Character Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2016)


Often it is beneficial to copy character formatting from one place in your document to another. Word provides shortcuts for doing this:

  1. Select the characters whose formatting you want to copy.
  2. In the Home tab of the ribbon look in the Clipboard group. Click on the Format Painter control to copy the format.
  3. Click and drag the mouse pointer over the text to which you want the formatting applied.

You can also copy the same format repeatedly by double clicking the Format Painter tool in step 2. You will then be able to apply the same formatting until you turn off format painting by clicking on the tool one more time or by hitting the Esc key.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8617) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Copying Character Formatting.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2016-12-31 12:23:07

Steve Baker

What is the shortcut key for this functionality for Word for Mac 2011?

2016-08-23 09:39:33

Eileen Lis

Edward and I are on the same page!

Sorry, didn't see his response before responding myself.

2016-08-23 09:38:21

Eileen Lis

I also have used shortcut keys to accomplish this.

Select the text, Ctrl+Shift+C, and then to paste it,select the text Ctrl_Shift_V.

2016-08-23 06:51:08

Edward Hamer

Hi there,
For this you can still use the Shift + Ctrl + C and Shift + Ctrl + V keyboard shortcuts. So, to do this:

- Select the text with the format you wish to copy.
- Press Shift + Ctrl + C
- Select the text you wish to apply the format to
- Press Shift + Ctrl + V

2015-01-31 09:20:54


I have been trying to find a way to copy the same format repeatedly. When I double click it in Word 2007, it just cancels out the copy formatting rather than allowing it to copy repeatedly.

Thoughts about why?

Thanks for the great tips!

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