Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
You do have some control over how Excel extends the values in a series when you drag
the ill handle. For example, if you drag the ill handle up (or to the left), Excel extends the
series to include previous values. If you type January in a cell and then drag that cell’s ill
handle up (or to the left), Excel places December in the first cell, November in the second
cell, and so on.
Another way to control how Excel extends a data series is by holding down the Ctrl key
while you drag the ill handle. For example, if you select a cell that contains the value
January and then drag the ill handle down, Excel extends the series by placing February
in the next cell, March in the cell after that, and so on. If you hold down the Ctrl key while
you drag the ill handle, however, Excel repeats the value January in each cell you add to
the series.
Tip Be sure to experiment with how the ill handle extends your series and how pressing the
Ctrl key changes that behavior. Using the ill handle can save you a lot of time entering data.
Other data entry techniques you’ll use in this section are AutoComplete, which detects
when a value you’re entering is similar to previously entered values; Pick From Drop-Down
List, from which you can choose a value from among the existing values in a column; and
Ctrl+Enter, which you can use to enter a value in multiple cells simultaneously.
Troubleshooting If an AutoComplete suggestion doesn’t appear as you begin typing a cell
value, the option might be turned off. To turn on AutoComplete, click the File tab, and then click
Options. In the Excel Options dialog box, display the Advanced page. In the Editing Options area
of the page, select the Enable AutoComplete For Cell Values check box, and then click OK.
The following table summarizes these data entry techniques.
Method Action
AutoFill Enter the first value in a recognized series and use the ill handle to extend
the series.
FillSeries Enter the first two values in a series and use the ill handle to extend the
AutoComplete Type the first few letters in a cell, and if a similar value exists in the same
column, Excel suggests the existing value.
Pick From
Right-click a cell, and then click Pick From Drop-Down List. A list of existing
values in the cell’s column is displayed. Click the value you want to enter
into the cell.
Select a range of cells, each of which you want to contain the same data,
type the data in the active cell, and press Ctrl+Enter.
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