Here’s quick tip for my frustrated Excel users who find themselves constantly dragging the fill handle around for information duplication only to discover that they dropped it either too soon or too late.
I don’t know about you – but I hate that!
You either repeat your work by using the fill handle to fill in the space you didn’t fill when you dropped it too soon or you’re deleting the extra.
Extra work is not on my daily “To Do” list so here’s a little something to help manage this particular situation.
The key is in knowing well… the right keys.
If you have a range of cells selected and use Ctrl + D Excel will take the data in the top row of the selected cells and fill it down to the end of the selection.
Similarly, if you have a range of cells selected and use Ctrl + R Excel will take the data in the left column of the selected cells and fill it right to the end of the selection.
So, how does this save you from making the drag too far or not far enough error?
Well, since you highlight the range of cells first you can use more exact selection methods… such as select the upper left cell, hold down the Shift key and click the bottom right cell of the area you need to fill.
Or, for that matter, just using the Shift key combined with the arrow keys will get you pretty exact cell selection.
However you get the cells selected, Ctrl + D or Ctrl + R will fill the data the same way the fill handle will but in a more controlled manner.