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
- Enter the first few cells of data.
- 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.
- Place the cursor on the drag fill handle, which is located at the bottom right corner of the cell.
- Once the crosshair appears, drag through the range of cells to include the sequential data.
- Once the mouse is released, the remaining data is filled in to match the pattern.
- The AutoFill options box will also appear.
- Click the AutoFill options box to see the options available to you.
- By default, the Fill Series is chosen. Select which option you prefer. For example, you can fill without formatting if you prefer.
Hide Fill Handle
By default, the fill handle is always displayed but you can hide the handle.
- Click the File tab and select Options.
- The Excel Options dialog box will open. Click the Advanced button and navigate to the Editing Options section.
- 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.
- Click OK once you have set the necessary options.
Excel AutoFill Examples
Below are some examples of data that can utilize AutoFill –