Quickly Copy Excel Formula Down

Recently, I saw this tweet, from someone stuck on an Excel problem:

  • An Excel problem I have never solved – easily copying a formula down tens of thousands of rows where the row next to it may be blank.

Yes, it’s easy to copy a formula down a column, if the adjacent column is filled. Follow these steps to copy the formula down to the first blank cell in the adjacent column.

  • Select the cell with the formula
  • Point to the fill handle, at the bottom right of the selected cell
  • When the pointer changes to a black plus sigh, double-click the fill handle


Fill Down with Empty Adjacent Column

However, if the adjacent column is empty, this fill handle trick doesn’t work. How can you quickly enter formulas in a column, if you’re setting up a workbook, with lots of empty cells?
Here’s how I do it – maybe you have another trick to do the same thing:

  • Select the cell with the formula
  • Click in the Name Box, and type the range where you want the formula entered. In this example, the formula is in cell D2, and it should go down to cell D2000.


  • Press the Enter key, to select the range of cells
  • On the keyboard, press Ctrl + D, to fill the formula down through the selected cells.