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.

16 Answers 16

up vote 34 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.

  • 1
    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. – jtpereyda Apr 13 '11 at 15:18
  • 1
    Mnemonics help ... Home FIll Series (Enter). Thanks for this! – Scott Rippey Dec 19 '11 at 17:44
  • 1
    If anyone finds a shorter (non-macro way) / "the official shortcut" to do this for linear series please let us know! – nutty about natty Aug 22 at 13:10

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.

  • 11
    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! – jtpereyda 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
  • 8
    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. – jtpereyda Apr 13 '11 at 15:05
  • 2
    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
  • This saves me a lot of time! – Brian Nov 3 '17 at 6:04
  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)

  • This is answer in 4-steps. I would however replace #3 with ALT+f because it's an easier layout than reaching for tab. – fohrums Aug 31 at 4:01

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.
  • 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
  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.

  • 4
    Doesn't deduce a series. – jwg May 16 '13 at 22:14

For Excel 2016 (and I presume 2013), I added it to the Quick Access Toolbar (I got rid of the Save button because CTRL-S does that), and I replaced it with Fill Series.

  • Go to the Home ribbon
  • In the Editing group, click on 'Fill'
  • Right-click on 'Series'
  • Select 'Add to Quick Access Toolbar'

Now it should appear in the top left of the window. When you press ALT, a number should appear next to the new icon you've added. You can then customise the Quick Access Toolbar and put the 'Fill' option where you want.

I got rid of 'Save' and put 'Fill' there instead, so I can now enter the first two values (e.g. '1' in cell A1 and '2' in cell A2), then select those two and more cells below, and hit ALT, 1, and Enter. The selected cells should then be filled with the series. The mouse is no longer required for this task.

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

  • 1
    "down" is not a keyboard key! – Prasanna Feb 23 '16 at 1:52

Shortcut to Fill-down (or fill-Right): First select Select what to fill down(or right) then

Option 1: To fill-down all the cells(till end of excel sheet): ( Shift + ( End Then ) ) Then ( Ctrl + D ) To fill-Right: ( Shift + ( End Then ) ) Then ( Ctrl + D )

Option 2: To fill-down: ( Shift + ( PgDown^N Then ) ) Then ( Ctrl + D ) N= number of times you need to go down based on your need. You can also go down/up with aero keys or PgUp key if you need.

  • As mentioned in other answers I believe you have to use Ctrl+R when filling to the right, at least that's how it seems to work in Excel 2013. – Nattgew May 20 '16 at 21:04

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.

  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.

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.

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.

  • 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

If you'd like to use Autofill, use this:

Alt + H F I S then Alt + F and finally Enter

  • Welcome to superuser: While this may or may not answer the question,(an answer has been accepted) it would be a better answer if you could provide some explanation why your solution works with detail and an easy to follow instructions. If you feel your answer is correct do these things and re-edit. Please take a couple of minutes and read:- superuser.com/help .Answering: superuser.com/help/how-to-answer, again welcome to superuser.Thankyou – mic84 Jun 1 '17 at 11:30

Suppose you need to generate serial numbers in column A.

  • Type 1 in the first cell i.e A1.
  • Press Down key to move towards A2 .
  • Press = key , select cell A1 , add 1 to it likewise =A1+1and hit the Enter key.This will generate the number 2
  • Now hold down the shift key and keep pressing down key till the last cell where you want to end your series.
  • Press ctrl+d to autodrag.

Finally you got your automated series of numbers!

Select cell, you want to fill down.

Select the range by Shift+Ctrl+End.

Press F2 to edit first selected cell.

Press Ctrl+Enter to fill area.

  • It seems to me that this fills a value.  The question asks how to auto-fill a series; e.g., enter 10, 13 and 16, and get 19, 22, 25, …. – Scott Jul 14 at 21:44

You cannot by default use any hotkey. But you can record for yourself macros. I did it keys Ctrl+Shift+D.

First select cells, you want to fill(with filled consecutive cells). Go View => Down arrow Macros => Record Macros.. On opened window you can fill any name, and any hotkey. After click ok. Select Home => Fill => Series => select AutoFill radio button then OK then go again to Macros from view menu and stop recording. Next time you can fill it by your hotkey. Good Luck!


When you start recording macros, it records all actions you do (to visual basic codes). So select cells before start recording. And don't forget stop it :)

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.