Copying to Very Large Ranges

Chris wonders if there is a fast way to copy a cell to a very large range. He knows how to use the mouse to scroll in order to select the target range, but if he’s copying to thousands (or tens of thousands) of cells, it takes an awfully long time to scroll through screen after screen.

Using the mouse to select large ranges of cells is cumbersome, at best. There are much easier ways to select large ranges, and these selection methods can be used to easily copy values to those large ranges.

Let’s say that you have a value in cell A3 and you want to copy it to a large range, such as C3:C99999. The easiest way to do the copy is to follow these steps:

  1. Select cell A3.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy its contents to the Clipboard.
  3. Click once in the Name box, above column A. (Before you click, the Name box contains “A3,” which is the cell you just copied.)
  4. Type C3:C99999 and press Enter. The range is selected.
  5. Press Ctrl+V.

Easy, huh? A similar approach to selecting large ranges could also be used with the Go To box, in this manner:

  1. Select cell A3.
  2. Press Ctrl+C to copy its contents to the Clipboard.
  3. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Go To dialog box.

  5. In the Reference box type C3:C99999.
  6. Click OK. The range is selected.
  7. Press Ctrl+V.

If you ever find yourself needing to copy to very large ranges using a macro, you can do so using a single command. To copy only the value from A3 to the range C3:C99999, you would use the following:

Range("C3:C99999") = Range("A3").Value

If you instead wanted to copy both values and formats to the large range, then you could use this command:

Range("A3").Copy Destination:=Range("C3:C99999")

Regardless of how you perform your copying task, make sure you are patient. Depending on what you are copying, it can take quite a while for the operation to complete. If you are copying a formula to such a large range, then it can take very long as Excel performs the thousands of new calculations you’ve required of it.