How Do I Copy Formatting in Microsoft Word?

By Nick Peers

Avoid wasting your time formatting each element in your Word document. Instead, use the Format Painter tool to copy formatting from one element to others. You can copy formatting from text elements and images in Microsoft Word 2013. If you need to copy formatting from other sources, such as Web pages, use the Paste Special option.

Using the Format Painter

Select the element that contains the formatting you want to copy in Word 2013. To copy both text and paragraph formatting, select the entire paragraph including the mark -- or space -- at the end. To copy formatting from an image, select the image. Click the "Format Painter" button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab; the cursor changes to a paintbrush. Click the text or image to paste the formatting.

Using Paste Special

Copy the text from a Web page or another source to the clipboard by selecting it and pressing "Ctrl-C." Click inside the Word document to position the insertion cursor, click the small arrowhead below the "Paste" button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab and choose "Keep Source Formatting." To use the formatting of the Word document, select "Merge Formatting." If you want to keep the text and remove all previous formatting, select "Keep Text Only."