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In word 2010 (or any version really) how do you get text's current color? I just end up having to approximate the color in the palette picker. There must be a better way.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

One normally goes to Font Color / More Colors / Custom to see the RGB or HSL values of the color.

Anything more involved than that requires using VBA macros.
See for example this article: Colours in Word 2007.

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Yes, this is working. Simply select the text of which you want to know the color values, and do the steps mentioned. Then the current values are shon in the color picker. – schöppi Oct 25 '10 at 20:06
@harrymc's answer is absolutely perfect, however I'm struck by "I just end up having to approximate the color in the palette picker". If you are trying to utilise the same colour on another piece of text or object then the Format Painter will act as copy and paste for formatting only. Format Painter is a little yellow brush near Paste on the Home tab. Select your coloured text, click Format Painter, and then select the text to be changed. Double-clicking keeps Format Painter 'sticky' so you can reapply it. – Gary Nov 27 '12 at 13:39

Another way to apply a currently used color (or any other text attribute) to additional text is to use the CopyFormat and PasteFormat commands. These were helpfully omitted from the ribbon in Office 2007 (which is what I'm using), but I believe they are on the Edit menu in previous versions. They are available in all (?) versions as the keyboard commands SHIFT-CTRL-C and SHIFT-CTRL-V (easy to remember if you use the standard keyboard commands for copying and pasting -- which is the same thing without the shift).

The method is simple:

  1. Select the text whose attributes you want to copy.
  2. Enter SHIFT-CTRL-C to copy the attributes.
  3. Select the target text.
  4. Enter SHIFT-CTRL-V

You can use these commands to copy paragraph (as well as text) attributes. Just start by selecting a whole paragraph, then proceed as above.

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