Flash Fill is a great time saving feature that allows you to fill in data based on an example or existing pattern. It usually starts working when it senses a pattern in your data. It’s great when you need to combine columns of data or even change the formatting of data. Below are the step-by-step instructions for using Excel’s Flash Fill to enter data.
Turning on Flash Fill
Flash Fill is on by default however, if it’s not working properly, you can verify it is turned on.
- Click the File tab.
- Click Options.
- Click Advanced and verify the Automatically Flash Fill box is checked.
- If the box was not checked, check the box and click OK.
- Restart your workbook.
Using Flash Fill
Since Flash Fill automatically fills in data based upon your example, you just need to start typing your data. If it senses a pattern, it will fill in the remaining characters and cells for you.
- Type the data into the first cell.
- Go to the next cell and start typing the data. Once the pattern is sensed, it will automatically complete the entries.
- Press Enter to accept the filled data.
Example of formatting phone numbers –
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