According to this microsoft support page (shown in the animated gif at right below)

To use keyboards shortcuts to copy formatting, press COMMAND + SHIFT + C to copy the formatting, select the text that you want to apply the formatting to, and then press COMMAND + SHIFT + V to paste the formatting

However, as shown in the animated gif below (click for better detail), it does not work for me. I describe what I'm doing with the keyboard with the text in black, blue, and red.

Notice at the end that I am able to paste format using the format painter tool, but my goal is to use keyboard shortcuts to do this. To demonstrate that this is not due additional custom shortcuts on my system, I have the shortcuts portion of the System Preferences open and you can also see the normal paste shortcuts in the Edit menu during the animated gif.

enter image description here

I'm using an updated Microsoft Word for Mac version 16.29.1 on an Office 365 subscription with macOS 10.14.6.

  • @klanomath I addressed SysPrefs in the lower left part of the image. But, I realized that I should also consider the keyboard shortcut setting within Word itself (Tools>Customize Keyboard...). I noticed that I had shortcuts assigned to both cmd-shift-C and cmd-shift-V. So the fact that it works for you helped me solve that part. Now how about the other part I mention in the bounty: "I often use the Paint Format tool to repeatedly apply the format by a double click on the button, and I'd really like to see a keyboard shortcut to toggle that mode" Is this possible? Please post as an answer
    – Tony M
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


If a shortcut doesn't work as expected (i.e. as mentioned in the help text/manual) check whether you configured the same shortcut as global shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. If you set up a "concurrent" shortcut it may also occur in Services, Screenshot etc.

Also check the app's preferences whether you set up custom shortcuts which override the app's default shortcuts.

It's not necessary to set up a custom shortcut for Word's Paint Format tool double click.

The logic behind the Paint Format tool button compared to the default shortcuts works like this:

  1. Choosing some formatted text and clicking Paint Format tool (1st click) equals cmdshiftC (copy format)
  2. Choosing another part of the text ("2nd click") equals choosing some text and cmdshiftV (paste format) - the Paint Format tool button is resetted afterwards!
  3. Choosing some formatted text and double-clicking Paint Format tool and formatting several other text parts afterwards equals cmdshiftC and several cmdshiftV.

If you copy a text format/style with cmdshiftC (or with the 1st click on Paint Format tool!) it will remain in the "format/style pasteboard" until you copy another text format/style or quit Word.

You can apply it with Paint Format tool only once (2nd click) but with the shortcut as often as required.

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