Data replication using Ctrl+D

Copy and paste is a popular way to replicate data, but did you know that Excel has a shortcut which does the same thing but in less time?  The shortcut I’m talking about is Ctrl+D, and it enables you to copy all data and/or formatting located in the cell immediately ABOVE the active cell.

Similar to copy and paste, you can use this method to replicate the contents of a single cell, a horizontal grouping of cells, or an entire row.   For example, select the consecutive cells within the row immediately below the cells you’d like to replicate, and press Ctrl+D.  This will copy ALL the data and/or formatting from ALL the cells immediately above your selection.

Personally, I find Ctrl+D especially handy when replicating a cell’s formatting – the process is exactly the same.  Once done, I make adjustments to the formatting, if required.  I then sometimes also cut and paste my newly replicated cells to another place within my worksheet or even to another workbook entirely, leaving behind a blank, unformatted cell.

On the flipside, you can also use Ctrl+D to remove all data and/or formatting within a cell.  This will only work where the cell above it is blank and unformatted, and means you can bypass the Format Painter.  However, if you wish to only replicate data (and not cell formatting), it’s best to stick with copy and paste because this gives you the option to remove formatting, whereas Ctrl+D doesn’t.

So if there’s a shortcut worth remembering and using, then Ctrl+D is the one.  Not only is it an efficient way to replicate cell data and/or formatting, it will reduce the possibility of any errors when entering the same data a second time – assuming your data was error-free to begin with!