Excel Cheats: What You Didn’t Know!

Quickly Format Cells

Let’s say you specifically formatted a cell and now want to change the formatting of other cells to be exactly the same as the first.

Rather than individually select each cell and make the changes, you can easily format all cells in a matter of seconds.

First, select the cell that is already formatted. In the example below cell B2 (Date) is already formatted and I would like to change cell C2 (Name), D2 (Age), and E2 (Profession) to look the same. Basically I want to create a nice row of Titles for my list that all look the same. After you select the cell, click on the Format Painter option in the top-left corner. If you move your cursor around, you will now see a paint brush icon next to your cursor and the cell is surrounded by a blinking dotted line. Next, click on (or drag your cursor across) the cell(s) that you would like to change.

Screenshot of excel document

Voila! Now all of the cells in the title have been re-formatted to look exactly like the first cell that I created. See below.

Screenshot of Excel

One last important note about this “cheat.” You can format multiple DIFFERENT cells at the same time. For example, let’s say I want each column in the rows beneath the title row to be formatted differently. See example below.

Screenshot of ExcelI can use the Format Painter tool and copy the first row (B6 to E6)  and re-format the remaining cells below to be formatted the same way. To do this, simply highlight the entire first row (cells B6 to E6) and select Format Painter (in the top-left corner).  You will now see that the first row is surrounded by a blinking dotted line and the cursor has a paintbrush icon next to it.  Simply select all the cells that you want to re-format. In this case, click on cell B7 and drag your cursor down to E12 to highlight and select the entire area. Your content is now re-formatted based on the first row! See below.

Screenshot of ExcelFor those of you that prefer to watch how this cheat is accomplished, you can view a short (1:42) video that demonstrates all of the instructions listed above. Enjoy!

Hopefully this cheat will save you time and energy and allow you to operate more efficiently in Excel.

View information on how to create Header Rows , format with every other row shadowed, or filter, sort, and remove duplicates in Excel.