I was in an Excel Dashboarding class a couple of weeks ago and learned some interesting techniques for building highly summarized and graphical snapshots for a business. It was an interesting class that covered lots of areas of Excel. It was a great concepts class with tons of interesting, somewhat technical, techniques. The ONE thing that had almost all the class OOHH-ing and AAHH-ing is a simple tip that a few knew about, but most didn’t.
On the toolbar, there is a little paint brush icon titled, Format Painter. With it, you can copy the format of a cell to another cell or cells. First, you select a cell (make it the active cell) from which you want to copy the format, then click the Format Painter icon. Next, click on the cell you want to copy the format to. If there are is a block of cells you want to copy to, you can select a range of cells and they all get the new format assigned to them. After you click on the receiving cells, the Format Painter button turns off and you repeat for the next format copy process. You probably know this already. It’s pretty intuitive. But, here is the part that was new to lots of people in the class.
When you click on the Format Painter button,
it instead of just the normal single click, the format you are copying stays available and doesn’t go away. You can paste the new format to lots of non-contiguous cells – even cells on different worksheets and different open workbooks. The format stays available to be pasted until you click on the Format Painter button again or press the Escape key.
If you do a lot of Excelling in your job, you probably spend a lot of time making your spreadsheets look good. Hopefully, his technique will save you some time. Enjoy!