Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Quickly Duplicating Drawing Objects.

Quickly Duplicating Drawing Objects

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 14, 2015)

6

You probably know that you can copy drawing objects using the familiar copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) commands. You may not know that there are other ways—quicker ways—that you can accomplish the same task.

The first method simply entails selecting the object and pressing Ctrl+D. That's it; the object is duplicated. In addition, if you hold down the shortcut key for a few seconds, the "autorepeat" feature of your keyboard will kick in and you can duplicate the object a zillion times in short order. Once duplicated, you can move the new objects where ever you need them in your worksheet.

If you prefer to use the mouse, you can duplicate objects by holding down the Ctrl key as you click an drag the object you want to duplicate. When you release the mouse button, the object is duplicated at the point where you released the button.

Another benefit of both of these approaches is that you don't need to use the Clipboard. That means you won't disturb anything you previously copied to the Clipboard. These techniques work equally well for ClipArt, WordArt, and AutoShapes, as well as text boxes.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (800) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Quickly Duplicating Drawing Objects.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is two more than 4?

2015-10-06 01:26:54

Prashant Kulkarni

I tried this Guys, In Excel 2010 the following was working: Ctrl + Select the object + Drag and Drop; however in 2013 a small change is there, it is: Ctrol + Left button/selection key in lappy + Drag and drop. I tried this, it is working


2014-07-14 12:03:01

Stan

Yep, that was it. Thanks Bryan, for staying with it. (I thought I'd tried that before but maybe not).


2014-07-10 11:01:26

Bryan

Stan: I did a little more playing around. The only way I can duplicate your behavior is if I let go of Ctrl before I let go of the mouse. If you are letting go of the mouse first and it still doesn't create a copy, then maybe there is just something wrong with your software/hardware.


2014-07-09 11:00:32

Stan Lieberman

I got the little plus sign and dashed rectangle but it still just moves it; doesn't duplicate it.


2014-07-08 07:57:39

Bryan

The Ctrl+Drag method works for me using xl2010. Make sure when you press Ctrl the cursor changes to show a little plus sign and a dashed rectangle.


2014-07-07 11:09:29

Stan Lieberman

The "control key + drag" method does not work for me. (Excel 2010). It just moves the object (in this case, a shape).


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