Copy Formatting in Google Sheets: Easy Steps

Jason Gong
June 6, 2024

Use the Paint Format tool to copy formatting in Google Sheets.

By the way, we're Bardeen, we build a free AI Agent for doing repetitive tasks.

If you work with Google Sheets, you might love Bardeen's GPT in Spreadsheets. It automates formatting and data tasks, saving you time.

Formatting your data in Google Sheets is crucial for creating professional-looking spreadsheets that are easy to read and understand. In this quick guide, we'll show you how to copy and paste formatting effortlessly, saving you time and effort. You'll learn about basic formatting tools, the Paint Format feature, keyboard shortcuts, and even advanced techniques like copying conditional formatting.

Understanding Basic Formatting Tools in Google Sheets

Google Sheets offers a variety of foundational formatting tools to help you create professional-looking spreadsheets. These tools allow you to customize font styles, sizes, colors, and cell background colors to make your data stand out and improve readability.

Some key formatting options include:

  • Changing font style, size, and color
  • Adjusting cell background color
  • Aligning text within cells (left, center, right)
  • Applying bold, italic, or underline to text
  • Adding borders to cells

Consistent formatting is crucial for creating spreadsheets that are easy to read and interpret. For advanced automation, consider adding ChatGPT to Google Sheets to streamline your workflows. By using these basic formatting tools strategically, you can highlight important data, separate sections visually, and make your spreadsheets more user-friendly.

How to Use the Paint Format Tool Efficiently

The Paint Format tool in Google Sheets allows you to quickly replicate formatting across multiple cells or sheets, saving time and ensuring consistency. Here's how to use it efficiently:

  1. Select the cell or range of cells with the formatting you want to copy.

      2. Click the Paint Format icon (paintbrush) in the toolbar.

      3. Click on the cell or drag the cursor across the range of cells where you want to apply the copied formatting.

To apply the same formatting to multiple non-adjacent cells or ranges:

  1. Double-click the Paint Format icon to enter "sticky mode".
  2. Click on individual cells or select ranges to apply the formatting.
  3. Click the Paint Format icon again or press Esc to exit "sticky mode".

Tips for efficient use:

  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+Alt+C to copy formatting, Ctrl+Alt+V to paste it.
  • After pasting formatting once, use Ctrl+Y to repeat the action on other cells/ranges.
  • Double-clicking the Paint Format icon keeps it active for multiple applications without re-selecting the source formatting.

For more advanced data handling, you can connect Google Sheets with other apps.

Save time and automate your Google Sheets tasks by using automated workflows with Bardeen.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Faster Formatting Operations

Using keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets can significantly speed up your data processing tasks and improve your overall efficiency. Here are some essential shortcuts for copying and pasting formatting:

  • Copy formatting: Ctrl+Alt+C (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+Option+C (Mac)
  • Paste formatting: Ctrl+Alt+V (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+Option+V (Mac)
  • Paste values only: Ctrl+Shift+V (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+Shift+V (Mac)
  • Clear formatting: Ctrl+\ (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+\ (Mac)

Other useful formatting shortcuts include:

  • Bold: Ctrl+B (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+B (Mac)
  • Italic: Ctrl+I (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+I (Mac)
  • Underline: Ctrl+U (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+U (Mac)
  • Strikethrough: Alt+Shift+5 (Windows/Chrome OS) or ⌘+Shift+X (Mac)

To customize keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets:

  1. Click on "Tools" in the menu bar
  2. Select "Keyboard shortcuts"
  3. Scroll through the list to find the shortcut you want to modify
  4. Click on the shortcut and press the new key combination you want to assign
  5. Click "OK" to save your changes

By mastering these keyboard shortcuts and customizing them to your preferences, you can significantly reduce the time spent on formatting tasks and focus on analyzing your data. For more tips on using Google Sheets efficiently, check out how to connect Google Docs with other apps.

Advanced Techniques: Copying Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting in Google Sheets allows you to highlight cells based on specific criteria, making it easier to analyze and interpret data. When working with large datasets, you may need to copy conditional formatting rules from one range to another. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Select the range of cells with the conditional formatting you want to copy.
  2. Right-click on the selected cells and choose "Copy" (or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C on Windows/Chrome OS or ⌘+C on Mac).
  3. Select the target range where you want to apply the copied conditional formatting.
  4. Right-click on the selected target range and hover over "Paste special."
  5. Click on "Paste format only" to apply the copied conditional formatting to the target range.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+V on Windows/Chrome OS or ⌘+Option+V on Mac to paste the format directly after copying the source range.

When copying conditional formatting rules across different sheets, keep in mind that Google Sheets will create a new rule for the target range on the destination sheet. This can lead to potential issues if the source and target ranges have different cell references or if the rule depends on data from the original sheet.

To troubleshoot such issues, review the conditional formatting rules in the target sheet and adjust the cell references or criteria as needed. If the formatting rules are complex or depend on multiple conditions, it may be more efficient to recreate the rules from scratch on the target sheet. For more advanced automation, consider using automated LinkedIn profile enrichment.

Bardeen helps save time by allowing you to scrape data from websites and automate repetitive Google Sheets tasks without needing to code.

Best practices for working with complex conditional formatting scenarios include:

  • Keep the rules as simple as possible and use multiple rules for different criteria
  • Use named ranges to make the rules more readable and maintainable
  • Test the rules on a small sample of data before applying them to the entire dataset
  • Document the rules and their purpose for future reference and collaboration

Integrating Google Sheets with Third-Party Tools for Enhanced Productivity

Google Sheets is a powerful tool on its own, but integrating it with third-party applications can take your productivity to the next level. By connecting Google Sheets with other tools, you can integrate Google Drive with other apps, automate repetitive tasks, and manage your data more efficiently.

One way to extend the functionality of Google Sheets is through add-ons available in the Google Workspace Marketplace. These add-ons can help you with various tasks, such as:

  • Data visualization: Create interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards to better understand and present your data
  • Data validation: Ensure data accuracy and consistency by setting up custom validation rules
  • Formatting automation: Apply consistent formatting across multiple sheets or ranges with just a few clicks
  • Workflow automation: Automate repetitive tasks like data entry, updates, and notifications

Another way to integrate Google Sheets with third-party tools is through the Google Sheets API. This API allows developers to build custom applications that interact with Google Sheets data. For example, you could create a custom CRM integration that syncs customer data between your CRM software and Google Sheets.

When choosing third-party tools to integrate with Google Sheets, consider the following factors:

  1. Ease of use: Look for tools with intuitive interfaces and clear documentation to minimize the learning curve
  2. Security: Ensure that the tools you choose have robust security measures in place to protect your data
  3. Scalability: Choose tools that can grow with your business and handle increasing amounts of data and complexity
  4. Support: Opt for tools with reliable customer support in case you encounter any issues or have questions

By leveraging the power of connect Microsoft Excel integrations, you can unlock new possibilities for your Google Sheets workflows and take your productivity to new heights.

Unlock Google Sheets Productivity with Bardeen Automations

While learning how to copy format in Google Sheets is handy for individual tasks, automating your Google Sheets tasks can save you a significant amount of time, especially when dealing with repetitive actions or large datasets. Bardeen offers a range of automation playbooks that integrate seamlessly with Google Sheets, allowing you to automate various tasks without any coding knowledge.

Here are some examples of how Bardeen can automate your Google Sheets tasks:

  1. Copy an Airtable to Google Sheets: This playbook automates the process of transferring a table from Airtable into a Google Sheets spreadsheet, making it easy to consolidate your data across platforms.
  2. Copy all Salesforce accounts to Google Sheets: Automate the copying of Salesforce account information into a Google Sheets spreadsheet for easier access and analysis of your customer data.
  3. Copy all Asana tasks to Google Sheets: Transfer all your Asana tasks into a Google Sheets spreadsheet, streamlining your project management and tracking processes.

Utilizing these automations can significantly enhance your productivity and ensure your data is always up-to-date and easily accessible. To start automating your Google Sheets tasks, download the Bardeen app at

Supercharge Google Sheets with AI

Bardeen's GPT in Spreadsheets automates formatting and data tasks effortlessly.

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