Excel Fill Down or Fill Right Shortcuts

Written by

Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on October 19, 2023

Fill Down and Fill Right

Fill Down

Fill Down is helpful when you want to drag a formula down to the end of the column.

Fill Down Part 1


  1. Highlight the rows to copy the formula down.

  2. PC Shortcut:
    Mac Shortcut:^+D
    Remember This Shortcut:
    D for Down

Fill Down Part 2

Fill Right

Fill Right is helpful when you want to drag a formula right for a specified number of columns.

Fill Right Part 1

  1. Highlight the rows that you want to copy down the formula to
  2. PC Shortcut:Ctrl+R
    Mac Shortcut:^+R
    Remember This Shortcut:
    R for Right

Fill Right Part 2

AutoFill Numbers

You can autofill consecutive numbers in Excel by dragging the fill handle down from your initial number and selecting Fill Series.


fillhandle fill series

Alternatively, you can create a different number pattern. Consider the example below.

fillhandle fill number pattern

Select both B2 and B3, and then drag the fill handle down. Excel recognizes the pattern, and a list of odd numbers appears.


fillhandle fill number pattern filled

AutoFill Dates

You can also type in a date, and then drag the fill handle down.

fillhandle fill dates

It automatically fills in the next day (Fill Series). However, you can select a different option, such as Fill Months.

fillhandle fill months

AutoFill Custom Lists

There are quite a few built-in lists that are default in Excel (e.g., Jan, Feb, Mar, … and Mon, Tues, Wed,  …). When you drag down the fill handle, if you have one of the values of these lists in your first cell, these are automatically filled in for you.

fillhandle fill day list

You can also create your own list if you find you have repetitive data that is often used in a list format.

  1. In the Options pop-up screen, go to the Advanced tab, scroll down, and under the General group, choose Edit Custom Lists.

excel options custom lists 2a

  1. Then click the Add button and type in the list entries.

fillhandle custom list

  1. You can then type in any name on the list and drag the fill handle down, and it fills up according to the order of the least, repeating the data if you have dragged down beyond the length of the list.

fillhandle custom list fill

AutoFill Options

When you drag down the fill handle, you are given a list of options that are available to fill. The top option (Copy Cells) copies the data down for you.

fillhandle number options

As shown above, selecting Fill Series results in a list of consecutive numbers. You can also select to fill just with formatting but not the numbers, or to fill with just the numbers but not the formatting.

To fill with just the number, and not the formatting, select Fill Without Formatting.

fillhandle no formatting

Alternatively, you can fill just with the formatting.

fillhandle formatting

If the data in the first cell is a built-in list, it may give you a few different options. In the example below, you have the choice to fill in all days or just weekdays.

fillhandle day options

Similarly, if the data is a date, a few further options are available. Below, Fill Years has been selected.

fillhandle date options

If Excel can recognize data from an adjacent cell, then Flash Fill may be available. In the example below, Excel has extracted the date from the PO Number using Flash Fill.

fillhandle flash fill

More About Using AutoFill

AutoFill Custom and Alphabetic Lists
AutoFill Dates or Months
AutoFill Numbers
AutoFill Numbers Without Dragging
Auto-Number Rows in a Column
Disable AutoFill
Fill Column With Same Value
Fill Series Not Working
Make a List of Numbers
Turn On AutoFill
Use Fill Handle
Use Flash Fill to Fill a Range
Copy & Pasteyes
Apply Formula to Entire Column
Copy and Paste Without Changing Format
Copy Every Other Row
Drag and Drop
Duplicate Rows
Create a Searchable Database
Find & Selectyes
Replace Blank Cells With Zeros
Insert Multiple Checkboxes
Sort Datayes
Sort by Last Name
Sort IP Addresses
Chi-Square Goodness of Fit Test
Autofill with VBA Macro
Enable and Disable Smart Tags

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