You may have found that the popular copy and paste feature found in most windows software applications, does not work quite as well in Microsoft Project. Don’t worry though. Microsoft Project has a Fill Down tool that can be used to populate a column.
Novice schedulers may resort to the laborious process of manually entering each cell’s value down the column. Microsoft Project, however, has a feature for duplicating data down a column. This is called the Fill Down feature, and it is readily available by right clicking the mouse. Once you become familiar with Microsoft Project’s Fill Down feature populating a column becomes quite intuitive.
This quick tip article demonstrates how to implement Microsoft Project’s Fill Down feature for populating a column with duplicate data.
Our demonstration project is in Figure 1.
We want to populate the Subcontractor column with the ‘Total Engineering’ contractor. We first try the standard copy and paste. First we copy, Figure 2.
Then we paste to copy the ‘Total Engineering’ contractor in the shaded cells, Figure 3.
The result of our copy and paste procedure is in Figure 4.
It only copied one cell down, not exactly what we want.
Now let’s implement the Fill Down feature. Click on the cell with the ‘Total Engineering’ contractor. Depress the shift key then click on the bottom cell in the column. Right click then select Fill Down from the popup menu, Figure 5.
The final schedule with the populated Subcontractor column is in Figure 6.
Copy and pasting duplicate data down a column works great in many Microsoft software applications, e.g. Excel, but not so much in Microsoft Project. However, Microsoft Project has a unique feature for that. It’s the Fill Down feature and it supports the quick duplication of data down a column. So it is possible to quickly and efficiently populate a column in Microsoft Project.