How to speed-fill cells in Excel

I spend my life in Excel. Over the years, I came to learn quick shortcuts to make spreadsheet creation faster. There are many tweaks in Excel you can use to speed up spreadsheet creation. Sometimes, creating a spreadsheet is boring because it requires copying mutiple times the same value or same formula. Of course, the good old Copy-Paste works like a charm in most situations but I love the shortcut I am going to show you.

Imagine you want to fill a column or a row with the same value or formula. You can input the value in the first cell and copy-paste it in the other cells, or use the fill handle (the black square at the bottom right of a selected cell). However, this would require to move the hands off the keyboards after having types the content of the cell to use the mouse. Now, what if we could duplicate the content you just typed by pressing just one additional key? Well, this is what the following trick makes possible:

  1. Select first the cells you want to fill (note that the selection is not mandatory adjacent, so you could select multiple cells in various locations of your spreadsheet).
    Select Excel Cells
  2. Now, type the value or formula in the first cell. At that point, you should not hit Enter or any of the arrow keys. This would have the effect of unselecting selected cells.
    Input data in first Excel cell
  3. Fianlly hit Ctrl-Enter to validate your input.
    Hitting Ctrl-Enter fill all the Excel cells with the same value

The value or the formula is automatically copied in every selected cells. Simple and efficient! Ctrl-Enter is one of those keyboard shortcut you need to keep fresh in your mind.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.