If there is a value in cell A1, CTRL-D while a single cell A2 is selected behaves differently in Excel and Google Sheets:

  • Excel: copies cell A1 to cell A2
  • Sheets: nothing

The Excel behavior is documented and demonstrated here under "Duplicating Into a Single Cell."

Is there any way to get Google Sheets to behave like Excel when CTRL-D is used?

  • ctrl+d seems to be working fine for me, is your only complaint that you have to highlight two cells before pressing ctrl+d?
    – CodeCamper
    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:17
  • @CodeCamper: yes. I fill down a single cell all the time and wish I could skip highlighting the cells beforehand like in Excel
    – Leftium
    Nov 25, 2019 at 4:45
  • You can create macros now but the shortcuts are very limited, ctrl+d is already taken for example so the answer is going to be no as of today, but if you were a little flexible there would be ways of accomplishing this.
    – CodeCamper
    Nov 25, 2019 at 15:24
  • @CodeCamper: Any shortcut would be an improvement.
    – Leftium
    Nov 28, 2019 at 2:52
  • is all you want to copy the cell above?
    – CodeCamper
    Nov 29, 2019 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


Ctrl+D works if you select the first cell too. In excel, if you ctrl+D in one cell it understands the cell above is the original, if you select 2 or more it takes the first selected as the original. Google sheets does the same except the 1st mentioned case. You always have to select the original data cell too

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