How to Use AutoFill in Excel (Best Practices)

How to Use AutoFill in Excel

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’…

 See the video tutorial and transcription below:

See this video on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMXLU9TGogc

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.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - how to automatically fill a series of numbers in Excel

This way you can create as long a series as you need.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - to fill a series of numbers automatically in Excel

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.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - autofill function in Excel

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’.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - using of autofill in Excel

The selected cells in the column will populate with the desired values.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically written numbers in Excel

Such series can be created vertically as well as horizontally.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically horizontally written numbers in Excel
How to Use AutoFill in Excel - horizontally written numbers in Excel

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.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - how to fill only even numbers in Excel automatically

And we’re not done here yet!

You can create the series of month names in full

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically filled names of months in Excel

or their short versions,

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically filled names of months

days of the week,

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically filled names of days in Excel

dates,

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically filled dates in Excel

expressions ending in a number which should increase,

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatical filling of cells in Excel

quarters or anything with a pattern.

How to Use AutoFill in Excel - automatically filled quarters in Excel

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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