Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Copying Cells to Fill a Range.

Copying Cells to Fill a Range

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 27, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


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Excel provides a pair of nifty shortcut keys that can be used to copy cells down and to the right. For instance, let's say you want to copy the contents of cell C3 to the fifteen cells just below it. All you need to do is select the sixteen cells (making sure that cell C3 is the top cell in the selection) and then press Ctrl+D. Cell C3 is copied to all the other cells below it.

Likewise, if you want to copy cells to the right, you can simply make a selection and press Ctrl+R. The value of the left-most cell in the selection will be copied to its right, filling out the selected range.

You can combine these two shortcuts to fill an entire range of cells. Let's say that you have a value in cell C3 and you want it copied to the range C3:M24. All you need to do is select that range and then press Ctrl+D and immediately press Ctrl+R. The first command copies the first row downward, which means that C3:C24 now contains the desired value. When you press Ctrl+R, everything in C3:C24 is copied to the right so that the entire range of C3:M24 is filled.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10261) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Copying Cells to Fill a Range.

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 five more than 6?

2021-03-01 10:39:38

Villunia

Just tried this trick and got excited. Thanks!


2021-03-01 09:15:28

Hymie

What is the preference of this method over just grabbing the little square at the bottom right corner and dragging it to the cells you want to copy into?


2021-02-27 08:05:58

Alan Cannon

I often use a different method for copying left, right, up, down, or a combination thereof.
1. Select the range of cells you want filled with the same value, but be sure to click the original cell 1st.
2. Press F2 to enter edit mode, then press Ctrl+Enter together.
This even works if the selected range is blank. Just select the range to be filled, type what you want into the active cell, then press the Ctrl+Enter combination.


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