Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 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: Quickly Filling a Column.

Quickly Filling a Column

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 8, 2020)

10

When creating a many-row worksheet, it is often necessary to type a formula in one of the top rows and fill the column with that same formula. A convenient way to find the bottom of the column is to go there once (when you are first working with the worksheet) and place a character in each cell of the last row.

Now, when you place your formula at the top of the column, you can simply do this:

  1. Select the cell that has your formula in it. (The one you just entered.)
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow. This selects all the cells from the formula through the "bottom marker" in the column.
  3. Press Ctrl+D. The selected cells are filled with the formula.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11442) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Quickly Filling a Column.

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 six more than 6?

2021-04-17 22:59:40

Roy

You could take easy advantage of a Tables feature, the one mentioned by *freddy lemmens*, without having to have a Table.

1. Highlight the region you will be working in as far down as you want the formulas to extend and as far right as you have columns you need to work in, or just the whole data table area.
2. Enter your formulas in the first columns, one after another, until finished. Note that they are copied down the entire column.
3. Convert the table back to a range.

Table's there, you take advantage of the formula populating functionality, then the table's gone and all is back to normal. With your formulas in place.

Seriously though, using F5, or other navigation tool, to go tothe "bottom" and marking each column you will write a formula in with an "X" where the last instance of that column's formula should extend to, then going back to where you're starting, writing a formula, copying it to the clipboard, then using Ctrl-Shift-Down Arrow to highlight down to that column's ending "X", and pasting... then moving on to the next column... this is neither hard nor difficult to figure "on the fly."

But "Table-Work-No table" makes even that easier. Granted... you WILL have some style formatting you may not care for still applied and your formulas WILL have the sheet name used in them religiously, but, um, neither is the end of the world, and if our masters at MS (MS=MasterS, eh?) didn't know we needed a helping hand to do things, um, right, these things wouldn't hang around our necks like anchors, right, so we must really need them, right?

Neither is hard to remove afterwards either, of course, so it's a step or two after done as the price for not having to seek the end cell for each formula.

Or, you know, mark those end cells (not hard or obnoxious — it's obnoxious to HAVE to do it, not TO DO it). Copoy and paste. All done.


2015-10-19 13:28:13

James

Thanks I find these tips to be helpful.
I have a question about Pieter de la Court comment on 17 Oct 2015, can this be done to update a row (not a column as in your example)?
Thanks


2015-10-19 04:07:37

Gerhard

Instead of Ctrl+Shift+DownArrow, you could use Shift+End+DownArrow. One key saved :-)


2015-10-17 16:22:28

Alan Wilcox

I agree with Pieter de la Court. i use this all the time, at least once a week in 2 reports that I have to produce. i delete the contents of the column. Do a VLOOKUP to insert the stock for Row1, then using the copy handle of that cell double click it and it fills the column with all the stocks for each item until it reaches the last line of the report.
Regards
Alan


2015-10-17 09:22:48

Ingvard Bach

Good trick and it works similarly with the other arrows


2015-10-17 08:57:59

freddy lemmens

@ Aref: when your data set is formatted as a table, these 'tricks' are not needed. The whole column fills automatically with the formula you have typed, for as many lines there are in the table.


2015-10-17 08:54:26

freddy lemmens

@ Pieter, your solutions is a great time saver BUT only when there is data on the left side of the cell you double-click.


2015-10-17 08:04:06

Steve F

Copy the formula then f5 to enter the range and paste to the selected cells


2015-10-17 06:43:41

Aref Assadollahzadeh

Dear Sir,
I think there is a problem for this tip that means if you Press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow This selects all the cells from the formula through the "bottom marker" in the column.
Question:How about if you only want to copy the formula to 200 row only and you have many columns to do this one by one ?


2015-10-17 06:16:31

Pieter de la Court

There is an even simpler way to do this, without having to place bottom markers:
Just enter the formula in the first row of the table (under the header) and double-click the copy handle of the same cell. (The copy handle is a small square dot at the right bottom corner of the cell. The cursor changes into a + sign when you hover over this spot).


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