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So when I want to extend a series or something along those lines, I can highlight a group of cells, then click on the bottom right corner of the highlighting box and drag down. Excel will then attempt to automatically extend the contents as well as it can. Is there a keyboard function that will allow me to do this? I like to use the keyboard to avoid repetitive mouse motions.

I can use the shift key and arrow keys to make a selection, but I don't know what (if any) key can trigger this function.

I also don't really know what this function is actually called.

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11 Answers 11

up vote 14 down vote accepted

You can use keyboard short cuts to get to anything that's on the Ribbon. Press Alt and then you can see the keystrokes next to each section. To bring up the Fill Series dialog box press Alt and then H F I S.

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Nice, this works well. The AutoFill option (Alt-F) seems to work well for most of my past use cases. Using Trend and Growth also allows me to do multiplicative series. Very cool! Sort of a lot of keys to press, but I guess that's what I asked for. – Josh P Apr 13 '11 at 15:18
Mnemonics help ... Home FIll Series (Enter). Thanks for this! – Scott Rippey Dec 19 '11 at 17:44

You're looking for "Fill-Down" or "Fill-Right".

Select the range by moving to the cell to start with... then Shift+ or Shift+ to where you want to fill the contents to... and then press Ctrl+D (to fill-down) or Ctrl+R (to fill-right).

Unfortunately, there is no shortcut key for fill-left or fill-up.

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This is pretty helpful. The only thing is that it automatically bases its fill on the first cell only. This will duplicate a cell, but will not extend a series. Still, this is very helpful, thanks! – Josh P Apr 12 '11 at 20:20
Actually, it does extend a series. It will copy any formulas, and modify columns/rows as excel regularly does. If you wanted to copy/paste values... then just use the copy/paste option (select values -> control+c -> go to destination -> control+v) – TheCompWiz Apr 13 '11 at 14:25
I mean that it won't automatically deduce a series. For example, type 1 in A1, 2 in A2, and then highlight both. If you do the Fill-Down with the mouse, it will start counting up automatically. Since the Ctrl+D method has no way to select more than one source cell, it will only copy more ones. AFAIK, only additive series will work. – Josh P Apr 13 '11 at 15:05
Interesting... I've never tried that before. I suppose you could take another route, and put 1 in A1 and =A1+1 in A2 and then fill down & get nearly the same results... but you're right... there should be a way. You could also assign your own custom short-cut key to the "fill series" option... and then it would give you a menu on how you want to fill the remaining cells... – TheCompWiz Apr 13 '11 at 15:36
  1. Ctrl+C to copy the starting cell
  2. Select the target range (using Shift, Ctrl, arrows, etc)
  3. Ctrl+V to paste

The target range will be filled appropriately.

As answered by TheCompWiz, using Ctrl+D and Ctrl-R would be another method. Ctrl+C/V would let you to fill to any direction and anywhere; while Ctrl+D/R requires less keystrokes.

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Doesn't deduce a series. – jwg May 16 '13 at 22:14
  1. Use Shift + to highlight where you want the series to go - must include the filled in cell that you want to key off of.

  2. Alt + H F I S

  3. Shift + Tab F

  4. Enter

(Inspired by the answers above and some trial and error)

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You can also accomplish this with a macro.

  1. Go to View tab -> Macro -> "Record Macro"
  2. Choose an optional name, for example Myautofill (no space in name!)
  3. Choose an optional shortcut, for example Ctrl+H
  4. Click OK to start recording the macro
  5. Go to Home tab -> Editing -> Fill -> Series
  6. For "Series in" choose "Columns", check the "Trend" option, then click OK
  7. Go to View tab -> Macro -> "Stop Recording"
  8. Your macro is ready! Select a range of cells and hit the shortcut you chose in step 3.
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I forgot some thing, you should also choose trend in step 7. – Mojtaba May 17 '12 at 8:03
This seems like macro addiction to me. You shouldn't need to use a macro for this, it is a simple task which is central to Excel interaction. – jwg May 16 '13 at 22:16

Fill the first column with 1 and then select the range in which you want to fill the series and then press Alt+H+F+I+S and then Enter... series will be filled.

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  1. Type 1 in upper cell.

  2. Type =1+(address of upper cell) then press enter.

  3. Copy that cell and drag to last sell of required data .

  4. Select that row and use paste special (Alt+E+S+V) to remove formula.

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But would also have to change 'type' to autofill.. so use

Alt+H+F+I+S and then shift+tab+down+down+down and then enter

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Assign 'Fill Series' to a position on the quick access toolbar. Let's say position 2 for this example.

Highlight the cell you want to fill down and the empty cells you want to fill - can be done using Shift+Arrow.

Now Alt+2(assigned QA position) then Enter.

Note - Highlight 2 cells plus the targets if you want Excel to infer the numeric series to fill.

Hope this helps and is a bit easier to execute than the Alt+x+y+z+a+b+c then Shift+d+e+f answers above.

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Select cell, you want to fill down.

Select the range by SHIFT + arrows where you want to fill the contents to.

Press F2 to edit first selected cell.

Press CTRL+ENTER to fill area.

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I don't find this a working solution, at least in Excel 2007. It doesn't produce a series, only fills down the same value. – zagrimsan Oct 2 '15 at 11:55

0 down vote Type 1 in upper cell.

Type =1+(address of upper cell) then press enter.

Copy that cell and drag to last sell of required data .

Select that row and use paste special (Alt+E+S+V) to remove formula.

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The fact that it says 0 down vote makes me think that you copied and pasted this answer from a different answer. If you did, please give the link. – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Sep 20 '14 at 10:41
Dragging is not "keyboard only" which the question requires. – zagrimsan Oct 2 '15 at 11:52

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