Ctrl D in Excel: A Detailed Explanation

Well, there actually are a lot of keyboard shortcuts in Excel. In this one, we’re going to talk about Ctrl D. However, it’s a bit different from normal copy shortcuts like Ctrl C. Wanna know the difference? Not to worry, you’re in the right hands.

We’re about to explain how Ctrl D actually works, and how to use it in practical situations. This is often chosen as an alternative to the Fill Handle. There’s no doubt that this shortcut can really make office work easier.

In some cases, it can prove to be faster than the touchscreen options. There’s really no point in keeping you waiting. Let’s dig into the main dish.

How Does Ctrl D in Excel Work?

I’ve already said that Ctrl D is a copy shortcut. But what does it actually do? Well, it’s best to explain it through practice. Here, we’ll be showing you a couple of examples that should give you a clear idea. It’s about time we got started.

First Example: Copying Data

For the first practice example, we’ll be using a couple of employee names in the first column. In the second column, we’ll put in their designations, and on the third column, we’ll be placing their salaries.

First example copying data 1

So, in this case, let’s say John, Sasha, and Harry have the same designations and the salaries. Now, typing the same detail over and over again in the lower cells can prove to be rather tiring. That’s where the Ctrl D shortcut comes in.

Here, we want to copy the data in cell B2 and C2, and put it into the two lower cells. Follow the steps to do it right.

  • Select the cell range B2:C4.
  • Once the range is selected, simply press Ctrl D.

First example copying data 2

  • This will place the data of the selected top cells and paste them below.

First example copying data 3

  • See, it’s done.
  • Now you can do the same for Desmond and Morrison. The results should be al the following image.

First example copying data 4

Second Example: Copying Data with Formulas

Now, let’s see how Ctrl D works with cells that contain formulas. This time, we’re going to be working with the set of data given below.

Second example copying data with formulas 1

Here, we have a couple of player names and the scores they got in three matches. At the last E column, we can see the total score of John is presented with the =(SUM formula. Here, the selected range is, B2:D2.

Now, let’s demonstrate how Ctrl D works here.

  • Our task here is to fill up cell E3 to Cell E6 with the total scores.
  • So, we have to first select the cell range E3:E6.
  • Then, if we press Ctrl D, the results should appear as below.

Second example copying data with formulas 2

  • So, it can be seen that Ctrl D works with formulas as well.

Third Example: Copying Data with Conditional Formatting

Now, let’s see if Ctrl D works with cells that are conditionally formatted. For this, we’re about to use the same set of data. But in the first cell of the Total Score, we’ll be applying conditional formatting.

  • Here, we’ve set the minimum number value to 1200 and the maximum number value to 1500.
  • The differences of number should also come color coded. Below 1200 will appear in a deeper color, and above 1500 should appear in a darker shade of color.

Third example copying data with conditional formatting 1

  • Let’s see the procedure now and select the range of cells that we want the results to come in.
  • After selecting the cell range E3:E6, press Ctrl D.
  • The results should appear as the following image.

Third example copying data with conditional formatting 2

  • As we can see, the color codes are different as set by conditional formatting.

Some Additional Tips

While using Ctrl D, you should be aware of a few things. The tips below should prove to be helpful in your future Excel ventures.

  • You have to press the “command” button in Mac instead of Ctrl.
  • Ctrl D only works in columns, not in rows.
  • Ctrl D only copies and presents data below the targeted cell in Excel. It doesn’t work upwards.
  • Ctrl D works in whichever formula or cell format you apply in the cell.
  • The fill handle can be a great alternative to Ctrl D.

Final Words

Now that we’ve seen how Ctrl D works in Excel and how to use it, you should be able to apply the shortcut in daily work scenarios as well. This entire informative writeup was custom tailored for those who need to gain a clear and complete idea of Ctrl D in Excel.

So, with that said, let’s close this one up. Hope you enjoyed the read.

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