Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Gaining the Upper Hand on Formulas
Copying formulas with the fill handle
As long as we’re on the subject of copying formulas around, take a look at the
fill handle. You’re gonna love this one! The fill handle is a quick way to copy
the contents of a cell to other cells with just a single click and drag.
The active cell always has a little square box in the lower-right side of its
border. That is the fill handle. When you move the mouse pointer over the
fill handle, the mouse pointer changes shape. If you click and hold down the
mouse button, you can now drag up, down, or across over other cells. When
you let go of the mouse button, the contents of the active cell automatically
copy to the cells you dragged over.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so take a look. Figure 1-17 shows a
worksheet that adds some numbers. Cell E4 has this formula: =B4 + C4 +
D4. This formula needs to be placed in cells E5 through E15. Look closely at
cell E4. The mouse pointer is over the fill handle, and it has changed to what
looks like a small, black plus sign. We are about to use the fill handle to drag
that formula to the other cells. Clicking and holding the left mouse button
down and then dragging down to E15 does the trick.
Figure 1-17:
Getting
ready
to drag the
formula
down.
Figure 1-18 shows what the worksheet looks like after the fill handle is used
to get the formula into all the cells. This is a real timesaver. Also, you can see
that the formula in each cell of column E correctly references the cells to its
left. This is the intention of using relative referencing. For example, the
formula in cell E15 ended up with this formula: =B15 + C15 + D15.
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