You can spend a lot of time formatting a shape or some text in PowerPoint and you certainly don’t want to have to repeat that process if it isn’t necessary. The good news is that PowerPoint has several techniques to copy formatting and animation. If you aren’t using them, you’ll soon wonder how you got along without them.
1) Format Painter and Pick Up/Apply Style
This is actually 2 techniques but I’m putting them together because they’re similar.
Format Painter is probably the best known.
Here are the steps:
- Format an object the way you like; it could be a shape, some text, or an image.
- Insert another object.
- Select the first object and click Format Painter on the Home tab in the Clipboard group.
- Click the second object to copy the formatting.
Tip: Double-click the Format Painter button to keep it “on” and apply the formatting to multiple objects, one after another. When you’re done, click Format Painter once to turn it back “off.”
Pick Up Style and Apply Style are less well-known because they are not on the ribbon. They’re similar to Format Painter but have 2 advantages:
- The style that you pick up remains available to you even after you do other tasks. It also may be easier when you need to apply a style on a different slide.
- Apply Style is often easier to use for text; in my experience, it’s sometimes hard to select text when the Format Painter is active.
I recommend that you put these commands on the Quick Access Toolbar. I explain how in “Work Faster in PowerPoint.” (You’ll find some other cool tricks there, too.) But you can also use the (faster) keyboard shortcuts which are:
- Ctrl+Shift+C: Pick Up Style
- Ctrl+Shift+V: Apply Style
Think of these as variations of the well-known Copy and Paste shortcuts but by adding the Shift key, you’re copying the formatting instead of the object itself.
2) Change Picture and Change Shape
Again, I’m combining 2 techniques because they are similar–and both very useful.
You can use the Format Painter or Pick Up and Apply Style on a picture or shape, but let’s say you want to change the image or shape without losing the formatting. This saves you from inserting a new picture and having to copy the formatting.
Here are the steps to change a picture without losing the formatting:
- Right-click the image and choose Change Picture.
- Then choose the source of your picture. I usually use From a File but notice the other options. You can even choose from a picture that you copied to the clipboard.
- Find the specific picture (if not from the clipboard) and select it.
PowerPoint changes the picture but keeps the formatting.
You can use a similar technique to change a shape without losing the formatting. Here are the steps:
- Select the shape.
- Click the Format tab and choose Edit Shape, Change Shape in the Insert Shapes group.
- Choose the shape you want from the Shapes Gallery.
PowerPoint changes the shape but keeps the formatting.
3) Animation Painter
You can also copy animation easily since PowerPoint 2010. It works like the Format Painter.
- Select an object that you have animated.
- On the Animations tab, click Animation Painter.
- Click another object to apply the same animation to it.
Like the Format Painter, you can double-click the Animation Painter to apply animation to multiple objects and then click it once to turn it off.
There are some other techniques to reduce formatting time and save chart formatting, but I’ll save those for another post.
Do you have some shortcuts that you use to save time formatting? Leave a comment and please use the Social Media share buttons below to share this post!