Use Excel's Fill Down Command With Shortcut Keys

Save time and increase accuracy by copying data to other cells

Excel Example
Use the Fill Down Command with a Keyboard Shortcut. Ted French

The Microsoft Excel fill-down command helps you fill in cells quickly and easily. This short tutorial includes keyboard shortcuts to make your work even easier.

Inputting numbers, text, and formulas in Excel spreadsheets can be tedious and prone to error if you enter each cell text or value separately. When you need to input the same data into a number of adjacent cells in a column, the Fill Down command can quickly do this for you just by using the keyboard. 

The key combination that applies the Fill Down command is Ctrl + D (Windows) or Command + D (macOS).

Using Fill Down With a Keyboard Shortcut and No Mouse

The best way to illustrate the Fill Down command is with an example. Follow these steps to see how to use Fill Down in your own Excel spreadsheets. 

  1. Type a number, such as 395.54, into cell D1 in an Excel spreadsheet.

  2. Press and hold down the Shift key on the keyboard.

  3. Press and hold down the Down Arrow key on the keyboard to extend the cell highlight from cell D1 to D7.

  4. Release both keys.

  5. Press and hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard.

  6. Press and release the D key on the keyboard.

Cells D2 to D7 should now be filled with the same data as cell D1.

Fill Down Example Using a Mouse

With most versions of Excel, you can use your mouse to click in the cell with the number that you want to duplicate in the cells beneath it and then click in the last cell of a range to select the first and last cells and all the cells between them. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + D (Windows) or Command + D (macOS) to copy the number that is in the first cell to all the selected cells.

The AutoFill Feature Solution

Here's how to accomplish the same effect with the AutoFill feature:

  1. Type a number into a cell in an Excel spreadsheet.

  2. Click and hold on the fill handle in the bottom right corner of the cell that contains the number.

  3. Drag the fill handle downward to select the cells that you want to contain the same number.

  4. Release the mouse and the number is copied into each of the selected cells.

The AutoFill feature also works horizontally to copy a number to adjacent cells in the same row. Just click and drag the fill handle across the cells horizontally. When you release the mouse, the number is copied into each selected cell.

This method also works with formulas in addition to text and numbers. Instead of tediously retyping or copying and pasting a formula, select the box that contains the formula. Click and hold the fill handle and drag it over the cells you want to contain the same Excel formula.