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I have a screen where users input values across a grid of cells. In some cases, users want to push a value from column 1 across the rest of the row.

We currently have an autocomplete mechanic (row fills up automatically with the value inputted in column 1). However, we would like to make this function voluntary. Sort of like pulling a cell by the corner in excel to fill up adjacent cells.

What kind of interaction would be optimal here? A keyboard short-cut? A push button? Open to ideas.

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It looks like your space is quite limited, so I would consider a selectable icon between the first field and the rest, such as a padlock or link icon, that would lock the values in the other fields to that field. So:

  • With the icon selected, the remaining fields are not editable (i.e. show as disabled), and their values are drawn from the first field
  • With the icon unselected, the remaining values can be edited freely
  • If the remaining fields are populated with different values and then selected, the values are changed to the first field and the cells are disabled
  • If the field is selected then unselected, the user can then amend the values

You would also need to visually separate the first field from the others to indicate how it has a different behaviour.

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