HomeTechnologyNewsHow to copy and paste formatting in Microsoft PowerPoint

How to copy and paste formatting in Microsoft PowerPoint

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Microsoft PowerPoint logo

Use the Format Painter tool to copy and paste formatting into PowerPoint. First, select the element from which you want to copy the format. Go to the “Home” tab on the ribbon and click the Format Painter button (looks like a paintbrush) in the Clipboard section. Finally, click on the element to which you want to apply the selected format.

To keep your slideshow consistent, you may want to use the same formatting for fonts, images, and other slide elements. Instead of adjusting each item each time, you can copy and paste the format into PowerPoint in different ways.

We’ll show you three methods to copy and paste formatting to make slideshow development easier. As a result, you will have the flexibility to use the method that is easiest for you or most convenient for the item you are currently formatting.

Apply Format Painter

The first method to copy and paste format is to use Format Painter. This handy tool is also available in other Office applications, such as Word and Excel.

RELATED: How to use Format Painter to duplicate formatting in PowerPoint

Apply the formatting you want to your text box, image, shape, or object. Then select that item.

Selected item on a PowerPoint slide

Go to the Home tab and the Clipboard section of the ribbon. Select the Format Painter button (a brush).

Format Painter button on the ribbon

You’ll see your cursor change to include a brush.

brush with cursor

Select the item you want to format as the first. It will be updated immediately with the same format.

To use this method for only certain portions of text, drag the formatted text you want to copy, and then select the Format Painter (brush) button again.

Selected text and the Format Painter button on the ribbon

Again, you’ll see the brush attached to your cursor. Drag across the portion of text you want to apply formatting to.

Selected text and brush with cursor

You will then see that the formatting of the text is updated automatically.

Formatting copied and pasted into text

Use a keyboard shortcut

If you’re a fan of keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint to get things done quickly, you’ll be happy to know that you can also use shortcuts to copy and paste formatting.

Apply the format to your slide element. Then select that item and press Ctrl+Shift+C on windows or Shift+Command+C on Mac.

Note: According to Microsoft, these Mac keyboard shortcuts are available to Microsoft 365 subscribers starting with PowerPoint version 16.24.

Then select the item you want to format in the same way and press Ctrl+Shift+V on windows or Shift+Command+V on Mac.

For specific text, do the same as with Format Painter. Format the text, drag your cursor across it, and then use the copy format keyboard shortcut.

Drag the text you want to format in the same way, and then use the keyboard shortcut to paste formatting.

Access the Collect and Apply Style buttons

You may plan to copy and paste a lot of your presentation formatting. If so, we recommend adding the Pick and Style buttons to your Quick Access Toolbar or your ribbon.

RELATED: How to Add New Buttons to the Microsoft Office Ribbon

With these two buttons, you can get up the format of an element and then Apply to another. An advantage of this method is that the style you select remains copied and available for you to apply to additional elements. This is convenient for pasting the format across multiple elements or on other slides.

The easiest place to place the buttons is on the Quick Access Toolbar, which we’ll cover next. But you can add them to a group on the ribbon if you prefer.

Select the dropdown arrow on the right side of the Quick Access Toolbar to open the menu. Choose “More Commands”.

More commands in the quick access toolbar menu

When the PowerPoint Options window opens in the Quick Access Toolbar settings, select “All Commands” from the Choose commands from drop-down menu.

Locate the pickup style in the list on the left and click “Add” to include it in the list on the right. Then do the same for the Apply Style button. Select “OK” to save your changes.

Adding Select Style and Apply Style buttons to the toolbar

When you return to your slideshow, you’ll see these buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Select and Style buttons on the Quick Access Toolbar

Format your first element, and then select the Pick Style button (a pen with an arrow pointing up).

Selected item and the Pick Style button

Select the element you want to format and click the Apply Style button (a pen with an arrow pointing down).

Selected item and Apply Style button

Its elements will then have the corresponding format.

For portions of text, use the buttons in the same way. Drag the text you want to paste formatting from, click the Select Style button, drag the text you want to paste formatting to, and select the Apply Style button.

RELATED: How to change the format of an entire presentation in PowerPoint

When you want to create consistency in your presentation but need to format many elements identically, consider these methods.


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