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Format Multiple Excel Worksheets in Multiple Workbooks

Do you spend too much time formatting the same reports in Excel?

You probably find yourself formatting the same spreadsheets in the same way daily, weekly, or monthly.  This can be a very time consuming and redundant task.  And even if it only takes you five to ten minutes to apply page layouts or format header rows; those minutes add up and you may lose some consistency if you forget something.

The Format Copier is your Solution! (and it’s FREE!)

The Format Copier tool automates the process of applying page layout and formatting options to multiple sheets in multiple workbooks.  And you can store your formatted sheets, which we will call templates, to use when you have to format the same unformatted reports in the future.

How it works

The Format Copier is a workbook that contains:

  • The formatting tool
  • And your formatted worksheets (templates) that you will use to copy formatting to unformatted worksheets in other workbooks.

Format Copier Overview

With the press of a few buttons you will be able to apply your template formatting to multiple worksheets and workbooks.

Formatting Options include:

  • Page Layout Options for Printing
  • Page Breaks for Printing
  • Cell Formatting & Conditional Formatting
  • Outlines or Row & Column Groups
  • Freeze Panes
  • Hidden Rows & Columns
  • Column Widths
  • Row Heights

The Benefit: It’s Easy to Use and Saves You Time

You’ve probably already figured this out, but the Format Copier will save you lots of time.  Especially if you’re formatting the same reports over and over again.  The tool is very easy to use and even stores your formatting preferences so you don’t have to remember which formatting options you use for each template.

This tool will help if you spend time doing any of the following in Excel:

  • Insert header picture, image, or logo on all or select worksheets
  • Apply the same header logo formatting on all worksheets
  • Format multiple Excel worksheets
  • Apply page setup and print settings to multiple worksheets.

Never screw up your TPS Reports again!

Ok, that’s an Office Space reference… And with this tool you won’t ever have to worry about messing up your reports and angering your boss.  You might have a general ledger reporting software that exports reports in an plain looking format, or doesn’t format them at all.  The Format Copier will transform these reports to your specification, making them easy to read and print.  And you will produce reports that are formatted consistently, without having to dig up reports from previous months to compare.

Download Page & Instructions

Format Copier Logo

Format Copier


Excel Quick Access Toolbar – Keyboard Shortcuts

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Excel 2007 is extremely useful for creating keyboard shortcuts for items that don’t have a defined keyboard shortcut.  For example, there is no defined keyboard shortcut to Paste Values but you can easily set it up on the QAT.

The QAT is accessed through the keyboard by pressing the Alt key.  Press and release the Alt key and you will see numbers appear next to each icon on the QAT.

Alt Number Key for Keyboard Shortcuts for the Quick Access Toolbar


So Alt + [the icon number] is the keyboard shortcut for each item.  In this example, the keyboard shortcut for paste values is Alt+1.  The keyboard shortcut for the format painter is Alt+2.

There are two ways to use the keyboard shortcut.

  • Press and release Alt to view the shortcut numbers next to each icon.  Then press the number of the QAT item you want to use.
  • Better Option: Press and hold Alt then press the number of the QAT item.  This is much faster once you have your QAT shortcut numbers memorized.  You will notice that the numbers don’t appear when you press and hold Alt, so you have to memorize them.

I tend to move the icons around based on the task I’m working on in Excel.  If I’m going to be using the format painter a lot, I will move it to the “1” position (farthest left) while I’m using it.  This is mainly because it is easier to Press Alt+1, Alt+2, and Alt+3 on the keyboard by placing your right thumb on Alt and right index finger on the number.  The other numbers can be a bit of a stretch, depending on your keyboard.

See my post on how to setup the QAT for more details.


Setup the Excel Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)

The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) in Excel 2007 is a great option for shortcuts to your most used commands.  It’s faster to click on an icon in the QAT (one click) versus clicking on the ribbon tab and then the command (two clicks + mouse navigation).  And you can use keyboard shortcuts for the QAT to make things even easier.

The Setup

Setting up the QAT is simple and consists of two steps:  Adding commands and arranging the icons.

The easiest way to add commands to the toolbar is to:

  1. Navigate to the command you want to add in the ribbon.
  2. Right click on the icon and select Add to Quick Access Toolbar from the drop down menu.

QAT Add Item

The command icon will be added to the end of the QAT.

To arrange the icons:

  1. Right click anywhere on the QAT and select Customize the Quick Access Toolbar… from the drop down menu.Customize QAT drop down
  2. The Excel Options menu opens and you can move your icons to the left or right by selecting the icon in the right box and pressing the up or down arrows.
QAT Options

Click Image to Zoom

The order of the icons becomes important when you are using keyboard shortcuts to access the commands.  And I highly recommend this as a much faster way to execute commands in Excel, versus using the mouse.  You can also use the Options window (above) to add and remove commands from the toolbar.

So what icons should I add to the Quick Access Toolbar?

This will depend on what you use Excel for and which commands you use most often.  If you are doing lots of data entry and manipulation you might want to have the “Paste Values” and “Format Painter” commands at the top of your list.  Reporting and analyzing, you may want some charting and page layout commands.  The key is to have the commands you use most often located closest to the left because the keyboard shortcuts are easier to press with your thumb and index finger.

Move the QAT

The toolbar can be place above or below the ribbon by clicking the down arrow to the right of the QAT and selecting Show Below the Ribbon or Show Above the Ribbon.

Move QAT

I prefer to have it above because it reduces the total vertical height of the top toolbars, which gives you more spreadsheet real estate.  But you may find that you have so many icons that it fits better below the ribbon.  If you are a heavy mouse user (vs. keyboard shortcuts) then it is also easier to navigate to the QAT if it is below the ribbon.

Checkout my recommendations on commonly used commands for the Quick Access Toolbar.


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