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Format Painter in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to use the Format Painter effectively in PowerPoint 2010.

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP

Date Created: January 4th 2011
Last Updated: January 4th 2011

It's easy to duplicate stuff in PowerPoint but if you already have formatted a shape exactly as you want after applying effects, fills, outlines, etc. and need to apply the same look to 50 other shapes within the presentation, then you know that you are in for a few hours of repetitive work, manually formatting each shape! Fortunately, the Format Painter command can rescue you from this monotonous task very easily! So what does the Format Painter command do? Here are some answers:

  • Format Painter copies attributes from one shape to other shapes on the same slide, the same presentation, or across presentations.
  • Format Painter works beyond the shapes on any other slide object -- you can use it to copy the look of text placeholders, tables, pictures, charts, etc.

Follow these steps to use the Format Painter in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. Select the shape whose attributes you want to copy, as show in Figure 1.

    Selected shape in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Selected shape

  2. Now access the Home tab of the Ribbon. Within the Clipboard group, click the Format Painter button (see Figure 2).

    Format Painter button in PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Format Painter button

  3. This will change the cursor to a paintbrush icon, as shown in Figure 3.

    Changed cursor after clicking the Format Painter command in PowerPoint
    Figure 3: Notice how the cursor looks like when you click the Format Painter button

  4. Now just click on the shape to which you want all attributes of the original shape to be copied (see Figure 4).

    Changed attributes in the other shape in PowerPoint
    Figure 4: Changed attributes in the other shape

  5. If you have more than one shape on the slide and you want to apply the same attributes to all the shapes, just double-click the Format Painter button so it remains selected and click on any other shapes you want. Click the Format Painter button again to deselect it or just press the Esc key. Figure 5 shows the attributes of the original shape applied to several other shapes.

    Attribute applied to more shapes
    Figure 5: Attributes applied to more shapes

See Also:

Format Painter in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Format Painter in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
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Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

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