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Fill Cell Contents Without using the Fill Handle

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

We all know that in MS Excel the bottom right corner of a cell selection is called the Fill Handle.


It’s an extremely useful tool. With just a drag and drop of the fill handle will copy information or continue a series of data in consecutive cells without the need for the whole copy / paste thing.

What could be better?

Well… what if we could remove the “drag and drop” part of that whole thing?

You’re maybe wondering why you’d need to ever remove the drag and drop from this process…

I ask you, what if the formula that you want to fill down by highlighting a column of 500 rows?

Do you really want to drag the fill handle down 500 rows?

No me either.

And someone else is considering the whole enter your data then use Ctrl + Enter thing which will fill a selected range of cells with that same data.

Again I must ask, do you really want to highlight 500 cells?

OK, so many of us have come to the conclusion that for large amounts of data maybe a way around the whole selection of a lot of cells would be a good plan.

Fortunately, I have one and here it is.

  • Enter the formula (or data item) that will need to be filled down the column into the top cell
  • Hit Ctrl + Enter (to keep the cell with the data selected – otherwise you have to move the cell selection back to that top cell)
  • Double-click on the fill handle


The formula or data has been filled down the column until there was a break in the data in an adjacent cell.

Meaning that if you have 500 consecutive rows of entries and need to add another column of identical data or formulas to each row you could enter the formula only once (in the first row), double-click that cell’s fill handle and Excel finishes all the work.

Now, if I could just get Excel to do all the work on my daily To Do List I’d really be a happy camper!


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