Copying Formatting With the Format Paintbrush

Use the Clone Formatting tool to copy formatting from a text selection or from an object and apply the formatting to another text selection or object.

  1. Select the text or object whose formatting you want to copy.

  2. On the Standard Bar, click the Clone Formatting icon. The mouse cursor will change to a paint bucket.

  3. Select or click the text or object that you want to apply the formatting to.


If you want to apply the formatting to more than one selection, double-click the Clone Formatting icon Icon. After you apply all the formatting, click the icon again.

To exclude paragraph formatting, hold down when you click. To exclude character formatting, hold down +Shift when you click.


In Calc, the Clone Formatting tool only copies formatting applied using the Format - Cells dialog or other equivalent methods. Therefore, any formatting applied directly to characters by selecting text inside a cell and then going to the Format - Character dialog will not be copied using the Clone Formatting tool.

The paragraph formats are the formats applied to the whole paragraph. The character formats are those applied to a portion of the paragraph. For example, if you apply the bold format to a whole paragraph the bold format is a paragraph format. Then if you unbold a portion of this paragraph, the bold format is still a paragraph format but the portion you unbold has a "not bold" character format.

The following table describes the formatting attributes that the Format Paintbrush can copy:

Type of Selection


Nothing selected, but cursor is inside a text passage

Copies the formatting of the current paragraph and the character formatting of the next character in the text flow direction.

Text is selected

Copies the formatting of the last selected character and of the paragraph that contains the character.

Frame is selected

Copies the frame attributes that are defined in Format - Frame and Object - Properties dialog. The contents, size, position, linking, hyperlinks, and macros in the frame are not copied.

Object is selected

Copies the object formatting that is defined in the Format - Graphics or Format - Drawing Object dialogues. The contents, size, position, hyperlinks, and macros in the object are not copied.

Form control is selected

Not supported

Drawing object is selected

Copies all formatting attributes. In Impress and Draw, the text contents of the object is also copied.

Text within Calc cells is selected

Not supported

Writer table or cells are selected

Copies the formatting that is specified in Table, Text Flow, Borders, and Background tab pages in the Format - Table dialogue. The paragraph and character formatting are also copied.

Calc table or cells are selected

Copies cell formatting specified using the Format - Cells dialog.

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