What Does Control + R Do in Excel?

Control + R is a great shortcut that you can use in Microsoft Excel, and it allows you to copy the cell/range on the left of the selected cell and put the same value in the selected cell/range.

In this guide, we’ll explain what the Control + R shortcut does and how you can use it to make your Excel work more streamlined.

Moreover, we’ll also discuss some tips and benefits of using the Control + R function and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

What Does Control + R Do in Excel? 

The Control + R is a keyboard shortcut used in Excel to select the “Fill Right” command quickly.

When you press Control + R, it automatically fills the selected cells with the value in the cells which are to the left of it.

This is a great way to quickly copy and paste data without having to enter it manually.

For instance, let’s say you have a list of employee names and salary figures in Excel (as shown below), and you want to copy the salary figures for each employee quickly in column C.


To do this, select the cells in column C that you want to fill by copying the values on the left and then use the keyboard shortcut.

Control + R (hold the Control key and then press the R key) 
Using Control + R in Excel

When you use the keyboard shortcut Control + R to fill to the right, it is going to copy everything that is there in the cells on the left and copy the same in the selected cells. This means that apart from copying the value, it is also going to copy the formula as well as the formatting from the cells on the left.

Also read: Alt + Enter Not Working in Excel

Using Control + R for Non-Contiguous Cells

If you want to copy the values to the right for a contiguous selection of cells, you need to select both the source and the target cells.

With non-contiguous cells, the keyboard shortcut would not work if you only select the target cells.

Benefits of Using Control + R in Excel

Using the Control + R shortcut in Microsoft Excel offers a few key benefits. 

  • One of the biggest benefits of using the Control + R shortcut is that it saves time. Instead of having to enter the data manually, the shortcut does it for you. This means that you can move on to the next task faster and be more productive in your work. 
  • Moreover, the Control + R shortcut eliminates the chance of making mistakes. Since all the cells are filled with the same value, you don’t have to worry about entering the wrong information or making a typo. This makes it easier to ensure that all the data is correct. 

Tips for Using Control + R in Excel

There are a few tips you should keep in mind when using Alt+Enter in Excel. 

  • The Control + R shortcut works best when you’re copying large amounts of data.
  • Make sure that the data you’re copying is accurate before you use the Control + R shortcut.

Can I use the Control + R shortcut on a Mac? 

Yes, you can use a keyboard shortcut to fill to the right on mac as well, and the shortcut is the same

Control + R (⌘ + R)

where you need to hold the ⌘ key and then press the R key.

Other Excel articles you may also like:

I am a huge fan of Microsoft Excel and love sharing my knowledge through articles and tutorials. I work as a business analyst and use Microsoft Excel extensively in my daily tasks. My aim is to help you unleash the full potential of Excel and become a data-slaying wizard yourself.

Leave a Comment