Speed Up Data Entry in Microsoft Excel

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated February 23, 2017

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

Check out these great data entry tricks and shortcuts in your Microsoft Excel workbooks.

Recommended article: No Mouse? Using Keyboard Only Navigation in Microsoft Office (Part 1: The Ribbon)

1. Enter data and keep the current cell selected

When you press Enter, Excel usually locks in the entry and moves the selection down one cell.

If you press Control + Enter, Excel locks in the entry and keeps the current cell selected.

2. Edit directly in a cell

To edit directly in a cell rather than editing in the Formula Bar, double-click in the cell or press F2.

3.  Fill or copy down

Instead of dragging the Autofill pointer on the bottom corner of a cell to copy down, select the cell you want to copy and the range below where you want to copy the data or formula and press Control + D to fill or copy down.

4.  Fill or copy to the right

Instead of dragging the Autofill pointer on the bottom corner of a cell to copy to the right, select the cell you want to copy and the range to the right where you want to copy the data or formula and press Control + R to fill or copy to the right.

5. Copy from the cell above

To copy the data or formula from the cell above, press Control + ‘ (apostrophe).

6. Copy the value only from the cell above

To copy the value only (not the formula) from the cell above, press Control + Shift + ‘ (apostrophe).

7. Enter the current date

To enter the current date in a cell, press Control + ; (semi-colon).

8. Enter the current time

To enter the current time in a cell, press Control + Shift + ; (semi-colon).

9. Enter data in multiple cells at the same time

To enter data in multiple cells at the same time:

  1. Select the cells (you could Control + click on multiple non-contiguous cells to select them).
  2. Enter the data you wish to enter in the selected cells in the Formula Bar or the active cell.
  3. Press Control + Enter.

10. Enter data in multiple blank cells at the same time

To enter data in multiple blank cells at the same time:

  1. Select the range of cells containing blanks.
  2. Press Control + G to display the Go To dialog box.
  3. Click on Special to display the Go to Special dialog box.
  4. Select Blank Cells.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. Enter the data you wish to enter in the blank cells in the Formula Bar or the active cell.
  7. Press Control + Enter.

Below is the Go to Special dialog box:

Go to Special dialog box in Microsoft Excel with blank cells selected.

Every Excel user should know these 10 data entry tricks and shortcuts.

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