Insert or Delete Cells with AutoFill

Here are a couple of quick tips for you — try them a few times today, and maybe you’ll still remember them by Monday.

I often have to insert a few cells in a list, so I select a range of cells, then choose Insert►Cells, click Shift cells down, then click OK. That method works very nicely, but it’s four clicks. I don’t have time for four clicks!

Recently I learned that I can press the Shift key and drag the AutoFill handle to insert cells. You can drag up, down, left or right, to insert cells in any direction. It’s much quicker than all those clicks!

You can use the same technique to delete cells too. Hold the Shift key and drag the Fill Handle over the selected cells, to grey out the cells.

You may also like...

8 Responses

  1. Tim Mayes says:

    Debra, thanks for that tip. I had no idea about that one, but I’ll be making heavy use of it.

  2. Nice tip.
    I use control shift + to insert and control – to delete.

  3. Kathie Ferguson says:

    Just a reminder to your readers that the same technique works for inserting and deleting rows. Select a row, hold down Shift, and drag the AutoFill handle located next to the row number.

    Thanks for all the great articles and videos on your web site! I learn something new every time I visit.

  4. Your website is great! I’ve been using it for a while now to learn all sorts of new things. Just discovered the blog, and I’m so excited to have access to information on a daily basis!

    This tip is great, I’ll be using it frequently.

  5. Thanks for your comments! Glad you like the tips, and relieved that I’m not the only person who didn’t know this shortcut.

  6. GP says:

    Is there a way to create a program that inserts cells automatically? For example I am working on a 4×4 matrix for names and adresses. Below that I have another 9×9 matrix for a different application.
    When I am working with the 4×4 matrix and get to the fourth row, can I have a program that inserts a cell automaticallly? Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. October 6, 2008

    […] Insert or Delete with Auto-Fill, This is a simple yet very useful tip. Debra at contextures blog says, I often have to insert a few cells in a list, so I select a range of cells, then choose Insert > Cells, click Shift cells down, then click OK. That method works very nicely, but it’s four clicks. I don’t have time for four clicks! Recently I learned that I can press the Shift key and drag the AutoFill handle to insert cells. You can drag up, down, left or right, to insert cells in any direction. It’s much quicker than all those clicks! […]

  2. April 30, 2013

    […] week, I was doing some updates on this blog, and found a tip that I posted 5 years ago. You can use the Fill Handle as a shortcut for inserting and deleting […]

Leave a Reply to Tim Mayes Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *