Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Automatically Filling a Range with a Series
Automatically Filling a Range with a Series
If you need to fill a range with a series of values, one approach is to enter the first value, write
a formula to calculate the next value, and copy the formula. For example, Figure 35-1 shows a
series of consecutive numbers in column A. Cell A1 contains the value 1, and cell A2 contains this
formula, which was copied down the column:
Figure 35-1: Excel offers an easy way to generate a series of values like these.
Another approach is to let Excel do the work by using the handy Autofill feature:
1. Enter 1 into cell A1.
2. Enter 2 into cell A2.
3. Select A1:A2.
4. Move the mouse cursor to the lower right corner of cell A2 (the cell’s fill handle ) and when
the mouse pointer turns into a black plus sign, drag down the column to fill in the cells.
You can turn this behavior on and off. If cells don’t have a fill handle, choose File➜
Options and click the Advanced tab in the Excel Options dialog box. Select the check
box labeled Enable Fill Handle and Cell Drag-And-Drop.
The data entered in Steps 1 and 2 provide Excel with the information it needs to determine which
type of series to use. If you entered 3 into cell A2, the series would then consist of odd integers: 1,
3, 5, 7, and so on.
Here’s another Autofill trick: If the data you start with is irregular, Excel completes the Autofill
action by doing a linear regression and fills in the predicted values. Figure 35-2 shows a
worksheet with monthly sales values for January through July. If you use Autofill after selecting C2:C8,
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