In this article you'll learn a trick to select all empty cells in an Excel spreadsheet at once and fill in blanks with value above / below, with zero or any other value.
To fill or not to fill? This question often touches blank cells in Excel tables. On the one hand, your table looks neater and more readable when you don't clutter it up with repeating values. On the other hand, Excel empty cells can get you into trouble when you sort, filter the data or create a pivot table. In this case you need to fill in all the blanks. There are different methods to solve this problem. I will show you one quick and one VERY quick way to fill empty cells with different values in Excel 2010 and 2013.
Thus my answer is "To Fill". And now let's see how to do it.
Before filling in blanks in Excel, you need to select them. If you have a large table with dozens of blank blocks scattered throughout the table, it will take you ages to do it manually. Here is a quick trick for selecting empty cells.
Note. If you happen to forget the keyboard shortcuts, go to the Editing group on the HOME tab and choose the Go To Special command from the Find & Select drop-down menu. The same dialog window will appear on the screen.
The Go To Special command allows you to select certain types of cells such as ones containing formulas, comments, constants, blanks and so on.
Now only the empty cells from the selected range are highlighted and ready for the next step.
After you select the empty cells in your table, you can fill them with the value from the cell above or below or insert specific content.
If you're going to fill blanks with the value from the first populated cell above or below, you need to enter a very simple formula into one of the empty cells. Then just copy it across all other blank cells. Go ahead and read below how to do it.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the active cell is C4.
(=C3) shows that cell C4 will get the value from cell C3.
Here you are! Now each selected cell has a reference to the cell over it.
Note. You should remember that all cells that used to be blank contain formulas now. And if you want to keep your table in order, it's better to change these formulas to values. Otherwise, you'll end up with a mess while sorting or updating the table. Read our previous blog post and find out two fastest ways to replace formulas in Excel cells with their values.
If you don't want to deal with formulas every time you fill in blanks with cell above or below, you can use a very helpful add-in for Excel created by Ablebits developers. The Fill Blank Cells utility automatically copies the value from the first populated cell downwards or upwards. Keep on reading and find out how it works.
After the installation the new Ablebits Utilities tab appears in your Excel.
The add-in window displays on the screen with all the selected columns checked.
If you want to fill the blanks with the value from the cell above, choose the Fill cells downwards option. If you want to copy the content from the cell below, then select Fill cells upwards.
Besides filling empty cells, this tool will also split merged cells if there are any in your worksheet and indicate table headers.
Check it out! Download the fully-functional trial version of the Fill Blank Cells add-in and see how it can save you much time and effort.
What if you need to fill all the blanks in your table with zero, or any other number or a specific text? Here are two ways to solve this problem.
A few seconds and you have all the empty cells filled with the value you entered.
It will automatically fill in the blank cells with the value you entered in the Replace with text box.
Whichever way you choose, it will take you a minute to complete your Excel table.
Now you know the tricks for filling in blanks with different values in Excel 2013. I am sure it will be no sweat for you to do it using a simple formula, Excel's Find & Replace feature or user-friendly Ablebits add-in.
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