Modified on Thu, 22 Sep 2022 at 03:43 PM

The Pipette is possibly the most powerful formatting tool for PowerPoint. It gives you the ability to format with amazing flexibility, not only just a shape but your entire presentation at once.


About the Pipette in Power-user

The drawbacks of the Format Painter

The Pipette can be considered as an improved version of PowerPoint's Format Painter. The Format Painter is a very useful tool, letting you copy and paste formatting from one shape to another. 

However this feature comes with several issues and limitations:

  • When you click outside of a shape, the Format Painter will forget your selection. It means you have to go back to the reference shape, select it, and again activate the Format Painter.
  • When you apply the Format Painter on a shape, it will apply everything from the reference shape: it will apply the shape color and effects, the line color, weight and style, the font color, size, text margins, bullet styles, etc. You cannot select what to apply and what not to change. So very frequently, you still have a number of manual changes to perform even after using the Format Painter to restore some of its original formatting that you didn't want to change.
  • The Format Painter cannot copy a shape size or position.
  • You can only apply the Format Painter on specific shapes, one by one, which limits the efficiency of this tool when you have to format dozens or hundreds of slides.

The Pipette overcomes these limitations to make formatting more flexible

The Pipette works very much like the Format Painter, but with key differences to bring more flexibility and power to the user:

  • Once copied, your reference shape will be memorized until the application is closed, and not just until you click somewhere else. This is very convenient as you can apply formatting from your favorite reference shape at any time, without having to go back selecting it and activating the Format Painter.
  • Instead of applying everything, the Pipette lets you decide precisely what you want to apply. You can choose the precise combination that needs to be applied, so that you don't have to do any manual formatting afterwards.
  • The Pipette can also apply the size or position of the reference shape.
  • The formatting can be applied to various scopes of shapes. You can apply your changes on selected shapes, but also on all slide titles, or on all shapes that share a similar pattern (color, font, size, border style, etc.) on the slide range of your choosing.

How to copy and paste formatting using the Pipette

Location on the Power-user ribbon

The Pipette can be found from the PowerPoint ribbon of Power-user, in the Format menu.

Power-user l Location of the Pipette on the ribbon

There are actually 2 buttons to use this feature:

  • Pipette - Copy Format: this will copy the formatting of the currently selected shape
  • Pipette - Paste Format: this will apply the previously copied formatting to the currently target shapes

Copying formatting from a reference shape

To copy the formatting of a shape, just select it and click Pipette - Copy Format. Power-user will memorize everything there is to know about this shape: its size, position, color, margins, font, bullets, etc., and remember this until you copy formatting from another shape or close the PowerPoint application.


Apply formatting to a target shape

To apply formatting: 

  • From the Power-user ribbon, click Pipette - Apply Format. The below window will open:

Power-user l Pipette

  • Select the format characteristics from the reference shape that you want to apply. You can combine each of these shape properties:
    • Properties from the shape itself:
      • Fill color
      • Line style (color, weight, dashes...)
      • Type (e.g. rectangular shape, rounded angles, oval, ...)
      • Angles
      • Shape size
    • Properties related to the text of the shape:
      • Text font, size and color
      • Text anchor (top, middle or bottom)
      • Margins
      • Bullet (style of each bullet level)
      • Line spacing
    • Shape position
  • Once you have chosen what to apply, select the scope of application from the drop-down list at the bottom. You can apply on:
    • The currently selected shapes
    • All shapes in a specific slide range
    • All slide titles in a specific slide range
    • All shapes with a specific fill color, shape type, size, name, font color, etc. in a specific slide range
  • Click OK to apply.


Examples of powerful use cases for the Pipette

Make all slide titles consistent in the presentation

Keeping titles consistent in the presentation is something that can take a significant time, especially if slides have titles from different layouts. With Power-user, the Pipette will make all these titles consistent in just a few clicks:

  • Select a reference slide title and click Pipette - Copy Format.
  • Click Pipette - Paste Format.
  • Apply the following combination:Pipette l Make all slide titles consistent

Make all bullets consistent in the presentation

It is almost impossible to keep bullets consistent in a presentation. Most of the time, presentations end up with different bullet styles, of different size and indent, and a lot of inconsistencies depending on the levels of bullets. 

Using the Pipette, we can easily make all bullets consistent in just a few clicks:

  • Select a reference shape with the different bullets you would like to have for each level. 
  • Click Pipette - Copy Format.
  • Click Pipette - Paste Format.
  • Apply the following combination:Pipette l Make all bullets consistent

Adjust roundness or shape angles

If you have different rounded shapes, it is best to keep the angles identical as it will look visually more consistent. Because the shape angle is not a parameter we can edit precisely in a manual way, it is actually very difficult to achive identical angles across different shapes. 

Using the Pipette, we will copy and paste angles to make them consistent:

  • Select a reference shape with the angle to copy. 
  • Click Pipette - Copy Format.
  • Click Pipette - Paste Format.
  • Apply the following combination:Pipette l Adjust roundness of shape angles

Copy and paste the external and internal size of charts

In Microsoft Office, charts contain actually 2 different sizes:

  • The normal external size.
  • But also an internal size which delimits the space used by the chart area within the chart object.

Keeping charts visually consistent implies having the same chart size both externally and internally. But the internal chart size is not something that can be easily edited, because you can't define a specific size, and it will change whenever you modify the external size of the charts.

To solve this challenge in Excel, we created the Copy-paste chart dimensions feature.

For PowerPoint, this capability is included in the Pipette. You can select a reference chart, click Pipette - Copy Format, and then Pipette - Paste Format and apply the Shape size on selected charts. This will apply both the external and the internal size of the chart.

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