Check Out These Great Tricks and Shortcuts to Speed Up Data Entry in Microsoft Excel
by Avantix Learning Team | Updated April 5, 2021
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.
Recommended article: 10 Great Excel Navigation Shortcuts
Do you want to learn more about Excel? Check out our virtual classroom or live classroom Excel courses >
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:
- Select the cells (you could Ctrl + click on multiple non-contiguous cells to select them).
- Enter the data you wish to enter in the selected cells in the Formula Bar or the active cell.
- 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:
- Select the range of cells containing blanks.
- Press Ctrl + G to display the Go To dialog box.
- Click on Special to display the Go to Special dialog box.
- Select Blank Cells.
- Click on OK.
- Enter the data you wish to enter in the blank cells in the Formula Bar or the active cell.
- Press Ctrl + Enter.
Below is the Go to Special dialog box:
Every Excel user should know these 10 useful data entry tricks and shortcuts.
This article was first published on February 23, 2017 and has been updated for clarity and content.
Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, join our email list.
Our instructor-led courses are delivered in virtual classroom format or at our downtown Toronto location at 1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801 (Toronto Star Building), Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some live classroom courses may also be delivered at an alternate downtown Toronto location). Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to arrange custom training on a date that's convenient for you.
Copyright 2021 Avantix® Learning
You may also like
You can apply strikethrough to text or values in Excel to cross out or create a line through a cell or part of a cell. There are 3 common ways to apply strikethrough in your Excel worksheets – using a built-in keyboard shortcut, using the Font dialog box, or by adding a command to the Quick Access Toolbar.
Slicers are a great tool in Excel to filter tables or pivot tables. You can lock the position of a slicer in an Excel worksheet using a two-step process. First, select the slicer or slicers and Disable resizing and moving in the Format Slicer task pane (and choose other options based on your preferences). Second, protect the sheet using the Review tab in the Ribbon. There are a few important options you’ll need to select to get this to work.
In Microsoft Excel, when you enter data or a formula, it appears in the Formula Bar. If you are writing longer formulas, it can be helpful to expand the Formula Bar.
Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.
Avantix Learning | 1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801 (Toronto Star Building), Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5E 1W7 | email@example.com