Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Flash Fill Will Not Automatically Fill in Numbers
If you can predict ahead of time that Flash Fill will have problems, you
might want to wait until you ve typed enough examples and then manually
invoke Flash Fill using the icon on the Data tab. Here is an example of an
alternative way to solve the city problem from Figure 2.10 :
11. Type City
City in F1.
22. Type Fairbanks
Fairbanks in F2.
33. Type Birmingham
Birmingham in F3. The entire time that you are typing Birmingha...,
Excel shows you the Flash Fill preview. Ignore the preview and fin-
ish typing Birmingham. Press Enter, and Excel does not Flash Fill.
44. Type Las Vegas
Las Vegas in F4.
55. Make sure that the active cell pointer is still in column F. Go to the
Data tab and click the Flash Fill icon. Excel correctly fills all of
the rows in column F.
When you get good at predicting which cells will cause a problem, you can
shorten this process. These steps work:
11. Type City
City in F1.
22. Type Las Vegas
Las Vegas in F4. Leave F2 and F3 blank.
33. Make sure that the active cell pointer is still in column F. Go to the
Data tab and click Flash Fill. From the one Las Vegas example, Excel
fills the city, even in F2 and F3.
Flash Fill Will Not Automatically Fill in Numbers
If you type a number in G2 and start to type another number in G3, Flash Fill
will not automatically fill the column for you. With only 10 digits (as op-
posed to 26 letters), it is too likely that Excel could detect other patterns
that are not the pattern you are intending.
It is possible for Flash Fill to work with numbers. Say that the original
number is 477 and you type 777. Excel could figure out that you want to strip
off the leading digit. Press the Flash Fill icon to have Excel fill the other
cells with this rule.
However, Flash Fill does not understand mathematical transformations. If
the original number is 477 and you type 479
500 (round
to the nearest hundred), Excel does not know how to Flash Fill the remaining
cells.
479 (add 2 to each cell) or 500
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