Lock the Format Painter for Repeated Usage - Greg Collins

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Lock the Format Painter for Repeated Usage

The Format Painter, located on the Standard toolbar, is a very useful tool for applying established formatting from one item to another. It avoids the potentially lengthy process of applying a complex combination of formatting styles by use of the menus, task panes, etc. It does, however, have its limitations: It does not apply formatting such as borders, padding and margins, and it can be very tedious to use as it only applies the source formatting to a single destination before you need to reselect the source formatting.

Although there is nothing that can be done about the borders, padding and margins, there are two rather obscure approaches that allow you to continue to apply the source formatting without the need to reselect it after each application.

Before addressing each approach it should be noted that switching views will cause the format painter to reset, or lose it settings. It is therefore impossible to paint a format across views. To work around this, you can copy the formatted text from the source view and paste it into the destination view, use the format painter, and then delete the copied source text.


The first approach is to lock the Format Painter on. You do this by first clicking on or selecting the source of the formatting, and then double-clicking the toolbar button. The Format Painter will remain in this locked position until you unlock it. This allows you to continue to apply the source formatting to multiple destinations without needing to reselect it. To unlock the Format Painter press Escape, click the toolbar button again, activate another toolbar button or menu item, or start typing.


The second approach is to use the keyboard shortcuts. The source formatting you select using either the Format Painter toolbar button or the keyboard shortcut is stored until you change it. To use the keyboard shortcuts, first click on or select the source of the formatting, and then press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy it. You can continue applying the source formatting by clicking on or selecting the destination, and then pressing Ctrl+Shift+V.

©2005 Greg Collins. All rights reserved. Licensed to Autonomy Systems, LLC for display on InfoPathDev.com.

Published Jun 27 2005, 01:33 PM by Greg Collins
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