Excel AutoFill

Learn how to utilize Excel AutoFill to quickly fill in cells where the data follows a pattern.

The Excel AutoFill feature allows you to quickly fill in cells where the data follows a pattern.  You begin by typing in the pattern in a few cells and let Excel complete the list.  Below are the step by step instructions for using AutoFill to enter Data and utilize its options.  I’ve also include some AutoFill examples.

Using AutoFill to Enter Data

  1. Enter the first few cells of data.
  2. Highlight the cells that set your pattern. NOTE:  If you only highlight one cell, such as January and drag the fill handle, it will insert January into the highlighted cells.
  3. Place the cursor on the drag fill handle, which is located at the bottom right corner of the cell.Excel AutoFill
  4. Once the crosshair appears, drag through the range of cells to include the sequential data.Excel AutoFill
  5. Once the mouse is released, the remaining data is filled in to match the pattern.
  6. The AutoFill options box will also appear.Excel AutoFill
  7. Click the AutoFill options box to see the options available to you.Excel AutoFill
  8. By default, the Fill Series is chosen. Select which option you prefer.  For example, you can fill without formatting if you prefer.

NOTE:  AutoFill can be used to populate both columns and rows.Excel AutoFill

Hide Fill Handle

By default, the fill handle is always displayed but you can hide the handle.

  1. Click the File tab and select Options.Excel AutoFill
  2. The Excel Options dialog box will open. Click the Advanced button and navigate to the Editing Options section.Excel AutoFill
  3. Uncheck Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop button to hide the fill handle. NOTE:  Checking the Alert before overwriting cells box will alert you if you try to overwrite existing data in selected cells.Excel AutoFill
  4. Click OK once you have set the necessary options.

Excel AutoFill Examples

Below are some examples of data that can utilize AutoFill –

  1. Dates Excel AutoFill
  2. NumbersExcel AutoFill
  3. TimeExcel AutoFill
  4. TextExcel AutoFill
  5. FormulasExcel AutoFill

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