The Format Painter in Word 2016 copies the formatting from some source text and applies it to some target text. If you have lovingly crafted the font family, size, weighting, bolding etc. on a particular piece of text, and you then find that you need to apply the same formatting to another piece of text, you don’t have to manually apply it one item at a time. You can copy all the formatting and paste it in one go to your target text.
Most people use the Format Painter command in the ribbon (on the Home tab):
To use this command, select the text that has the formatting you want to spread around, click the Format Painter command, and then select the target text to which the formatting must be applied. When you release the mouse button (assuming you used a mouse to select the text), the desired formatting is magically applied.
Your text selection can comprise a single word (or even letter), a collection of words, a paragraph, or… anything, really. Just select the text and the formatting is applied.
To get the maximum speed out of your Word 2016 workflow, you need to keep your hands over your keyboard at all times (because that’s where your hands are when you type the content) and use as many keyboard shortcuts as possible. The keyboard shortcut for Format Painter actually consists of two shortcuts: one to copy the formatting and a further one to paste it.
Do those shortcuts look familiar? They should do; ctrl+c is the shortcut for copying and ctrl+v is the shortcut for pasting.
Keyboard shortcuts are the key to working faster with Microsoft Word. Usually, the most time spent composing a document is spent with your hands over the keyboard, when you are typing in the content. Whenever you use the mouse to perform some other action, you have to locate the mouse, move your dominant hand to where it is, move it a little to locate the cursor on the screen, move the cursor to the menu > command, etc. etc…. You can see that mouse actions are an interruption to the fluidity of your workflow.
If only you could just keep your hands where they are – above the keyboard – and just continue to press down on the keys to execute all the commands. Well you can – with keyboard shortcuts.
The main problem that most people face is one of remembering what the shortcuts are. The only way to master them is to make yourself use them. Force yourself to accomplish every task via keyboard shortcuts, even if it means referring to documentation every time. It will be worth it.