In Microsoft Excel, formatting data to look good can be time consuming.

In this video, I demonstrate two quick tools (Format Painter and Cell Styles) that will save you time when formatting cell data format, font, colours, borders etc.

Transcription for: Fast Formatting using Format Painter and Cell Styles in Microsoft Excel
Hi, Lynette from Kits and Bits here.

In this video we’re going to look at two different ways that you can speed up your formatting in Microsoft Excel; the first is the format painter and the second is cell styles.

Here we have a very basic spreadsheet with some very basic data.With the format painter, I’m going to apply some very basic formatting to the first subtitle cell then I can select that cell click the format painter and then select the cells that I want to copy that

Format Painter

I’m going to apply some very basic formatting to the first subtitle cell.


  1. Select that cell
  2. Click the format painter and then
  3. Select the cells that I want to copy that formatting to.

You can see that all the cells now have the exact same formatting.

Cell Styles

Format painter is really great for ad-hoc formatting. If however you’re using the same kind of formatting over multiple sheets and multiple files then cell styles really would be more effective.

To use a cell style, again we set a basic formatting for the first cell.


  1. Go to cell styles
  2. Select new cell style
  3. Give it a name
  4. Confirm all the formatting and
  5. Click [OK].

Now I can;

  1. select any of the cells that I want to match that,
  2. select cell style under my custom section

Again all that formatting is applied.

If you have set up your accents in your color palette, you will also be able to choose from a multitude of different themed cells with varying levels of color and different font combinations, incuding;

  • light against dark
  • dark against light.
  • You also have;
  • basic heading styles
  • data styles (check calculations, inputs etc)
  • traffic light (good, bad, neutral)

It also includes basic accounting formats, so I can also select the top the total of this column select cell styles and total and it will automatically put in the borders.

To modify a cell style,

  1. Right-click
  2. Select modify
  3. choose my alignment, my fill so it’s in a background and my border I can change to strong

That formatting will now be applied to anything that I choose with that cell style.

If you like this tip you might like others that I share on my Youtube Channel so you can go there and subscribe or go to my website and sign up to my email newsletter

Okay, thanks. Seeya.

End of Transcription
N.B. This transcription has been edited for better readability, however, the general structure is the same as the video.


Have you had trouble formatting data in Excel?

If so, I’d love to hear from you.


Lynette embodies an intrinsic ability to save business owners money by delivering back the all-elusive “spare” time so they can use it to do what they love. She puts these principles into practice in her own business – Kits and Bits. Lynette is an avid genealogist and tango dancer.

Lynette Delane

Tech Translator, Kits and Bits

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