In this tutorial, we’ll be talking about how to use autofill in Excel. You can use the ‘AutoFill’ function to fill in a series of data automatically in a very convenient way, saving yourself a great deal of time.
Here’s the ‘how’…
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If you need to populate a table with data series, the ‘AutoFill’ function in Excel is an invaluable help. You can use this feature with any kind of data, particularly numbers, which are most commonly used to create a series.
Let’s say we want to create a series of numbers from one to thirteen here. To do that, follow these steps:
Type in number 1, then number 2 right below, so that Excel could identify the pattern for the series we want to create. Select these two cells and drag the bottom right-hand corner of the selected area down.
This way you can create as long a series as you need.
The most common problem you may encounter is that you fill in only one number, for example number 1. When you drag the corner of this cell, Excel will not create a series, but only copy the number 1 to all cells you select.
But it’s never too late to fix this! If you want to turn this column of ones into a number series, you don’t need to delete anything.
Simply roll out the ‘AutoFill Options’ menu down here, in the bottom right-hand corner, and use it to swap the options from ‘Copy Cells’ to ‘Fill Series’, which will change the column of ones into a number series. Beside these two options, there are also other items, but don’t worry about these right now. We’re focusing here on a number series, so we’ll select ‘Fill Series’.
The selected cells in the column will populate with the desired values.
Such series can be created vertically as well as horizontally.
But that’s still not everything Excel can do with ‘AutoFill’.
You can create all the types of series you need. For example, if we want to use the series of even numbers only, we must type in 2 and 4 to start the series and then we can autofill the rest.
And we’re not done here yet!
You can create the series of month names in full
or their short versions,
days of the week,
expressions ending in a number which should increase,
quarters or anything with a pattern.
So, what do you think – what will be the series for which you’ll use ‘AutoFill’ next time you’re working in Excel?
Share your ideas in the comment section below and let us know what other series could be created with the ‘AutoFill’ function.
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