Edit and format a Google document

Change text and highlight color

To choose a text color or a highlight color for a text selection, select the text you'd like to modify. Then, click the button in the toolbar menu, choose either “Text” or “Highlight,” and select a color.

Text size and spacing

To change the size of the text in your document, simply select the text and click the text-size drop-down menu in the toolbar. This menu is set to 11pt by default. Choose a new text size, and the changes are applied to the selected text.

If you'd like to change the line spacing of the document, or add a space before or after a paragraph, click the line spacing button on the far-right of the toolbar.

Then, select an option from the menu. If you’d like to specify a custom value for spacing, click Custom spacing....

You can use the options in this menu to adjust the spacing of bulleted and numbered lists, too.

Paragraph styles and headings

The Styles menu in the toolbar displays the style of your text selection in a document, and lets you change the style or clear the formatting of your text. To view a list of headings available, click the menu that appears to the left of the Font toolbar menu, or click Format and select Paragraph styles. Then, choose one of the styles, which range from 'Heading 1,' the biggest, to 'Heading 6,' the smallest.

Paint format tool

Google Docs lets you copy the formatting you’ve applied to a specific section of text to another section using the paint pormat tool.

To use this tool, select the text that's formatted in the way that you want to copy. Then, click the paintbrush icon in your toolbar, and select the text to which you want to apply the formatting. The formatting from the original text will be copied to the selected text.

To change the formatting in multiple places within your document, double-click the paintbrush icon. You'll enter a mode that lets you highlight multiple text selections, and apply the same formatting to each selection. When you're done applying formatting to these selections, click the paintbrush icon again.

You can also use the paint format tool with keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl+Option+C (Ctrl+Alt+C on a PC) will copy the formatting of the text you've selected, and Ctrl+Option+V (Ctrl+Alt+V on a PC) will apply any copy that formatting to a different text selection.

Select and edit all text with the same formatting

It's easy to select all the text in your document that matches a certain style so that you can apply formatting changes to all of it at once. To do so, select some text, right-click your selection, and click Select all matching text. All of the text in your document with the same formatting as your selection will be highlighted. You can now apply any formatting changes you'd like to the selected text.

Clicking Select all matching text will look for parts of your document that match your selection's text style — its font, font weight, size, color, and whether it's been bolded, italicized, or underlined, or struck-through. It will not take into account paragraph styles, such as line spacing or alignment.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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