How to Copy and Paste Formatting in Microsoft PowerPoint

Consistency in formatting is key for professional and visually appealing presentations in PowerPoint. However, manually formatting each text box, shape, image, and other objects on every slide can be extremely tedious and time consuming. Fortunately, PowerPoint provides several useful tools for quickly copying and pasting formatting to maintain consistency across your presentation.

In this article, we will cover step-by-step instructions for using PowerPoint’s Format Painter, keyboard shortcuts, and Paste Options to swiftly copy and apply formatting. Whether you need to format text, shapes, animations, or entire slides, these tips will save you time while designing your presentation.

Use the Format Painter

The Format Painter button on the Home tab is the easiest way to copy and paste formatting in PowerPoint. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Select the text, shape, image, or other object that has the formatting you want to copy.
  2. Click the Format Painter button. The mouse pointer will change to a paintbrush icon.
  3. Select the object(s) you want to apply the copied formatting to. The formatting will be instantly applied.
  4. If you want to apply the same formatting to multiple objects, double click the Format Painter button before selecting the other objects.

The Format Painter copies almost all types of formatting including text fonts, colors, alignment, object fills, borders, and effects. It’s a quick way to maintain formatting consistency across all objects on a slide.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

For increased speed and efficiency, PowerPoint has keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting formatting:

  1. Select the object with the source formatting.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+C (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+C (Mac) to copy the formatting.
  3. Select the target object(s).
  4. Press Ctrl+Shift+V (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+V (Mac) to paste the formatting.

These handy shortcuts copy and paste almost all types of formatting just like the Format Painter. You can even use them to copy formatting between different slides or presentations!

Adjust Paste Options

When you copy and paste content in PowerPoint, click the arrow under the Paste button on the Home tab to view Paste Options. Here you can choose how the pasted content should be formatted.

The main options are:

  • Keep Source Formatting: Pastes the content with its original formatting from the copied source.
  • Use Destination Theme: Pastes the content using the formatting of the destination slide’s theme.
  • Picture: Pastes copied images and objects as pictures so they are disconnected from their source files.
  • Keep Text Only: Pastes just the text content without any formatting.

Adjusting these options ensures the pasted content blends seamlessly into your presentation.

Copy Slide and Animation Formatting

In addition to text and object formatting, you can also copy the formatting of entire slides or animations in PowerPoint:

Copy Slide Formatting

  1. Right-click the slide with the desired formatting in the left Thumbnails pane.
  2. Choose Reuse Slides.
  3. Select the Keep source formatting option.
  4. Click OK and pick the slide(s) you want to apply the formatting to.

Copy Animation Formatting

  1. Click the Animation Painter button under the Animations tab.
  2. Select the object with the animation you want to copy.
  3. Click the object(s) you want to apply the animation formatting to.


Learning how to swiftly copy and paste formatting using PowerPoint’s built-in tools can save you significant time when designing presentations. Whether applying consistent text styles or duplicating the look of entire slides, the techniques covered in this article will help you work more efficiently.

Consistent formatting is key for professional presentations. By mastering these formatting copy and paste features in PowerPoint, you can focus more on creating compelling and visually engaging content rather than manually applying styles and effects. Work smarter and faster with these handy tips!