Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Having Your Fill
capability (and it hasn’t debuted in Excel 2010, either—this option goes way back), and we’re just getting
started with it.
Now try this: type the numbers 3 and 5 in cells G3 and G4. Then select both cells and release the
mouse. Next, Click and drag the fill handle down the G column to G10. You should see this (Figure 2–
31):
Figure 2–31 . Getting a handle on the process: A fill series displaying an interval of 2
Here, Excel works with two starting cells, containing the numbers 3 and 5; these alert the worksheet
about the interval that will pump up all the numbers in the range. As per the Auto Options button
command, we’ve generated what’s called a Fill Series, and we could have dragged the fill handle down
thousands of cells had we wished, with each successive cell displaying a value 2 higher than the
preceding one. And if you start with 5 and 3 instead of 3 and 5 and drag the handle, the numbers will
descend in decrements of two, e.g., 5, 3, 1, -1, -3, etc. Nor is Excel intimated by exotic intervals: if you
enter starting numbers of say 1.36 and 2.43, Auto-fill is perfectly happy to roll out 3.5, 4.57, 5.64, and the
like. Just keep this caution in mind: in order to carry out an Auto-fill properly and avoid a common
mistake, don’t, for example, type 3 and 5 and return to the 3 and begin dragging. Rather, you must select
3 and 5, release the mouse, and then return to that selection and drag the fill handle. That is, you must
see this, shown in Figure 2–32, before you start the fill process:
Figure 2–32. Learning to let go: release the mouse before you drag here.
Having Your Fill
Now get this. If I type any day of the week in any cell and drag on the fill handle (it’s always there;
you just may not have paid it any mind till now), this is what happens (Figure 2–33):
 
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