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).

By Susan Harkins

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.