Using Excel’s Flash Fill to Enter Data

Learn about Using Excel’s Flash Fill to Enter Data

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.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options. VLBTechEd Excel Flash Fill Image 1
  3. Click Advanced and verify the Automatically Flash Fill box is checked. VLBTechEd Excel Flash Fill Image 2
  4. If the box was not checked, check the box and click OK.
  5. 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.

  1. Type the data into the first cell.
  2. Go to the next cell and start typing the data. Once the pattern is sensed, it will automatically complete the entries. VLBTechEd Excel Flash Fill Image 3
  3. Press Enter to accept the filled data. VLBTechEd Excel Flash Fill Image 4

Example of formatting phone numbers –

VLBTechEd Excel Flash Fill Image 5

To learn more about Office applications, please check out my courses at vlbteched.teachable.com.

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