Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 Formats.

Copying Formats

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 12, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


You already know how to use the Format Painter tool, as described in other WordTips, to copy formatting from one portion of our document to another. You can also utilize the keyboard to copy formats. (This is great for those who prefer to leave their hands on the keyboard rather than switch to the mouse.) The technique is only a minor change from the traditional copy and paste functions. To copy formats using the keyboard, follow these steps:

  1. Select the text whose format you want to copy.
  2. Press Shift+Ctrl+C. This copies the format.
  3. Select the text whose format you want to change.
  4. Press Shift+Ctrl+V. This pastes the format to the selected text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10776) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Copying Formats.

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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