How to Fill a Column With the Same Data in Excel
By David Sarokin
Spreadsheets generally contain varying types of numbers and text, such as the names, addresses and phone numbers of your clients, quarterly sales data for your business, or the demographics of your next marketing campaign. There are times, though, when you want to create a column with every cell containing the same data. For instance, you can use a column of identical data to apply a standard conversion factor, such as changing miles to kilometers, or euros to dollars. Use Excel's duplication feature to rapidly fill a column with the same data.
Move your cursor to an empty spreadsheet cell at the top of the column you want to populate with data.
Click on the cell to activate it. An activated cell is indicated by a bold, dark border.
Type in the data for the cell, which will also be the data that is duplicated in the column.
Move the cursor out of the cell and click any other cell to set the data in the first cell.
Move back to the first cell and click it to reactivate the cell, causing the bold, dark border to reappear.
Move the cursor to the bottom right corner of the cell, indicated by a small solid black box.
Click and hold the corner box. Drag the corner down the length of the column as far as you need the identical data. For instance, if your data is in cell A1, and you want identical data down to A20, then drag the corner of cell A1 down to A20.
Release the mouse button. The column will automatically fill with data identical to the data you entered in the original cell.
This fill technique works for all versions of Excel.
David Sarokin is a well-known specialist on Internet research. He has been profiled in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post" and in numerous online publications. Based in Washington D.C., he splits his time between several research services, writing content and his work as an environmental specialist with the federal government. David is the author of Missed Information (MIT Press, 2016), a book exploring how better information can lead to a more sustainable future.