Software

Quick copy trick in Excel

It's easy to copy a column of values in Excel using the keyboard.
There are a number of ways to copy data in Excel, but if you're like me, you're always looking for shortcuts that eliminate a few clicks. Here's one that's handy when copying a single column of values to an adjacent column:

  1. Select the column and the adjacent column. If the column of values is already selected, you can press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Right Arrow] to extend the selection.

  1. With both columns highlighted, press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+. (that's the period character).

It's quick and easy, and pressing [Ctrl]+Z will cancel the copy action. If the target cells contain values, Excel will overwrite them. If you press [Ctrl]+Z to cancel the copy, Excel will reverse the action and reset the cells to their original values. This trick also works with rows: Press [Ctrl]+[Shift]+, (the comma character).

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

5 comments
zoran.banovic
zoran.banovic

It also doesn't work in Slovene version... But I found out that Alt+Shift+0 does the same,,,

cpfara
cpfara

Don?t work in Spanish version..

Tharbad
Tharbad

Great tip but ..at least in Excel 2007 doing a CTRL+Shift and Right Arrow selects everything to the right - not just one. Instead just Shift+Right Arrow will allow selecting one column at a time.

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

Using Ctrl+R instead of Crtl+Shift+. will also copy the selection to the right; and it's both easier and more intuitive. Similarly, Ctrl+D will copy down to cells selected in a column.

Editor's Picks