In Microsoft Excel I frequently use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+' (apostrophe) to copy the value from the cell above the current one. The same keystrokes in Google Sheets instead toggles the display of formula and I cannot find an equivalent shortcut to copy the value from the cell above. Any ideas please?

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  • @krowe I can't see anything in that link that can do what Ctrl+' does in Excel. – Caltor Mar 1 '15 at 8:40
  • Which leads me to believe that it isn't possible. – krowe Mar 1 '15 at 9:05
  • Well I guess that's an answer then. 😂 – Caltor Mar 1 '15 at 9:06

Something that comes close is "Fill Down" (Ctrl+D).

If you highlight the cell with the formula you want as well as the cell below it, then use this shortcut, it'll be just like you used the fill handle, without having to do all that mousing.

In fact, this may be more useful, because you could just put the formula on the first row, add all the rest of your data, then do the fill-down at the end.

Not as convenient as Ctrl+', but I've found it pretty useful lately.


If you're trying to copy down a value that you just entered/typed into the cell above, then you can use F4.

(F4 in Excel and Google Sheets does something along the lines of "repeat the last thing I just did".)

You might want to adjust your keyboard settings if you want to use this frequently so you don't have to hit fn + F4 every time since on most new computers the function keys are assigned to system functions (e.g. volume, app switcher, etc.).

  • hmmm not bad. This only works if you have just typed the number above though, so won't work in all scenarios but it's pretty good. – Caltor Feb 13 at 14:28

There doesn't appear to be an equivalent of Ctrl+' in Google Sheets at the moment.

This could possibly be done via a Google (Javascript) Script though. Unfortunately this can't be done via a script either as you can't assign keyboard shortcuts to Google App scripts. Thanks to @Normal for pointing this out.


First highlight the range where you are going fill with data, including the row/cell with the initial data. Enter the initial data, (on Windows) press Shift+Enter (to get to the last row in the range) then press Ctrl+D.

This will copy down all values by column.

  1. Shade cell above,
  2. Hold Shift key and shade your target cell (or use the mouse to shade both cells),
  3. Type CTRL + D. You're done!

Are you wanting to copy the value because you only want to paste values? If so, then copy works just as it always does (Ctrl + C) and then the shortcut for pasting values only is

Shift + Ctrl + V

  • The Asker presumably already knows about the "old fashioned" copy-paste. That's quite a few more keystrokes than Ctrl-', though. – ale Jan 8 '16 at 21:05
  • the only reason i mentioned that is because of specifically paste values only is slightly different than excel – Aurielle Perlmann Jan 8 '16 at 21:08
  • Yeah I know about copy and paste values thanks. I'm after a quicker way to copy the value from the cell above. In Excel this is only 2 keystrokes. – Caltor Jan 11 '16 at 11:25

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