Check Out These Great Tricks and Shortcuts to Speed Up Data Entry in Microsoft Excel

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated July 29, 2020

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

Check out these 10 great Excel data entry tricks and shortcuts in your Microsoft Excel workbooks.

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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 Ctrl + 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. Some users may need to press Fn + F2.

3. Fill or copy down

Instead of dragging the Fill or 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 Ctrl + D to fill or copy down.

4. Fill or copy to the right

Instead of dragging the Fill or 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 Ctrl + 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 Ctrl + ‘ (apostrophe) or Ctrl + D.

6. Copy the value only from the cell above

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

7. Enter the current date

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

8. Enter the current time

To enter the current time in a cell, press Ctrl + 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 Ctrl + 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 Ctrl + 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 Ctrl + 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 Ctrl + 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 useful data entry tricks and shortcuts.

This article was originally published on February 23, 2017 and has been updated for clarity and content.

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10 Excel Data Entry Tricks and Shortcuts Every User Should Know
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10 Excel Data Entry Tricks and Shortcuts Every User Should Know
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Check out these 10 great Excel data entry tricks and shortcuts to save time in your workbooks.
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Avantix Learning

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