Use Pick Up Style in PowerPoint to Repeat Object Formatting


What is the Pick Up Style?

The Pick Up Style feature allows you to copy formatting of an object including its text to another object, similar to a color picker.

You can use the keyboard shortcuts or add the Pick Up Style and Apply Style icons to the Quick Access toolbar. We’ll look at both.

The shortcuts are the Copy/Paste ones with the SHIFT key added so that only the style and formatting are copied:

  • Pick Up Style: CTRL+SHIFT+C
  • Apply Style: CTRL+SHIFT+V

If you are not a keyboard shortcut fan, just add the icons to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) as follows…

Add Pick Up Style to Quick Access Toolbar

The QAT as it is fondly known, is a super tool included in all Office applications for quick access to your most used commands. There are several ways to access its Customize screen to add and remove commands.  We’ll add the Pick Up Style and the Apply Style icons:

  • Right click on the Ribbon or the QAT and choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar, (or click the dropdown arrow at the end of the QAT, and choose More Commands)
  • In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, change the Popular Commands option to All Commands. (You could also choose Commands Not in The Ribbon in this instance, but always choosing the former will save you time and aggravation down the road)

PowerPoint Quick Access toolbar dialog box

  • Scroll down in left pane and click Pick Up Style
  • Click Add to display It at the bottom of the QAT. (If you want it to display in a specific location on the QAT, click the command above that location in the right pane before choosing Add)

PowerPoint Options Pick Up Style command

  • Click Apply Style in left pane (ensure Pick Up Style is selected in right pane)
  • Click Add
  • You can use the arrow boxes to move the commands up or down in the list, if needed
  • Click OK to return to your presentation


    You now have these two icons on the QAT. Note that the Pick Up Style has the Up arrow and the Apply Style has the down arrow:

PowerPoint Pick Up Style and Apply Style icons

Apply Style to Object(s)

We’ll use Shapes here for an easy example of how efficient these tools are:

  • Click Insert tab, and in the Illustrations group, click dropdown arrow on Shapes
  • Draw any shape on the slide (see example below)
  • Format the shape and type and format text
  • Draw another shape and add text to it

PowerPoint Shapes inserted before Pick Up Style

  • Select Shape 1 and click Pick Up Style icon on QAT (or press CTRL+SHIFT+C)
  • Select Shape 2 and click Apply Style icon (or press CTRL+SHIFT+V)

PowerPoint Shapes formatted with Apply Styles

Your shapes are now matched in color and text formatting!

NOTE: You can also use the Format Painter to copy and paste formatting but the actions have to be in succession (like using F4 to repeat last action), whereas the Pick Up Style is remembered even if Apply Style is used later, so you can continue to apply to multiple objects while working in the presentation.

TIP: If the QAT gets too cluttered, remove any command with a right click over desired icon; choose Remove from QAT

I hope this tool makes creating presentations faster and more enjoyable for you. Want more automatic formatting features in PowerPoint? Have a look at this blog:

Let me know the features you use to speed up your presentation masterpieces in the Comments below!


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