Copy Formatting in PowerPoint using Buttons or Keyboard Shortcuts

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated March 7, 2018

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

In Microsoft PowerPoint, you can copy shape, picture or text formatting quickly and easily using buttons or keyboard shortcuts.

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1. Copy formatting using the Format Painter

The Format Painter is a great tool for copying formatting. It appears on the Home tab in the Clipboard group:

Format Painter in the Ribbon in Microsoft PowerPoint.

To copy formatting using the Format Painter:

  1. Format a shape, image or text.
  2. Insert another shape, image or text.
  3. Select the first shape, image or text and click Format Painter on the Home tab in the Clipboard group.
  4. Click the second shape, image or text to copy the formatting. You may need to drag over text.

If you double-click the Format Painter, it will remain selected and you can copy formatting to multiple shapes, images or pieces of text. Click the Format Painter or press Escape when you’re finished copying formatting to turn it off.

2. Copy formatting using Pick Up and Apply Style buttons

There are two style buttons that you can add to the Quick Access Toolbar that can be used for copying formatting. They are Pick Up Style and Apply Style.

These Style buttons are similar to the Format Painter but have a few advantages:

  • The style that you pick up remains available even after you perform other tasks.
  • These tools may be easier to use when you want to copy formatting to a different slide.
  • Apply Style may be easier to use for text.

To add the Pick Up Style and Apply Style buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar (which is above the Ribbon by default):

  1. Click the arrow to the right of the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. Choose More Commands. A dialog box appears. Note that the Quick Access Toolbar is selected on the left.
  3. From the drop-down menu under Choose commands from, select All Commands.
  4. Click the button(s) you wish to add.
  5. Click Add for each button you wish to add. In this case, add Pick Up Style and Apply Style.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Close.

Below is the Options dialog box where you can add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar:

Options dialog box in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Below are the Pick-Up Style and Apply Style buttons after they have been added to the Quick Access Toolbar:

Pick Up and Apply Style Buttons in PowerPoint.

To copy formatting using the Style buttons:

  1. Format a shape, image or text.
  2. Insert another shape, image or text.
  3. Select the first shape, image or text and click Pick Up Object Style in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  4. Click the second shape, image or text. You may need to drag over text.
  5. Click Apply Object Style in the Quick Access Toolbar.
  6. Continue using Apply Object Style with other shapes, images or text.

3. Copy formatting using keyboard shortcuts

You can also copy and paste formatting using keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Format a shape, image or text.
  2. Insert another shape, image or text.
  3. Select the first shape, image or text and press Control + Shift + C.
  4. Click the second shape, image or text. You may need to drag over text.
  5. Press Control + Shift + V.
  6. Continue pasting formatting to other shapes, images or text by pressing Control + Shift + V.

Technically, you are using Pick Up Style and Apply Style when you use these keyboard shortcuts.

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