Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Taking the Drudgery out of Data Entry
For example, suppose that I enter Capital Investments (one of the many
investment firms that our company uses) in cell A2 and then move the cell
pointer down to cell A3 in the row below and press C (lowercase or
uppercase, it doesn’t matter). AutoComplete immediately inserts the remainder of
the familiar entry — apital Investments — in this cell after the C.
Now this is great if I happen to need Capital Investments as the row heading in
both cells A2 and A3. Anticipating that I might be typing a different entry that
just happens to start with the same letter as the one above, AutoComplete
automatically selects everything after the first letter in the duplicated entry it
inserted (from apital on, in this example). This enables me to replace the
duplicate text supplied by AutoComplete just by continuing to type.
If you override a duplicate supplied by AutoComplete in a column by typing
one of your own (as in the example of the Capital Investments entry
automatically corrected to Cook Investments in cell A3), you effectively shut
down its capability to supply any more duplicates for that particular letter.
For instance, in my example, after changing Capital Investments to Cook
Investments in cell A3, AutoComplete doesn’t do anything if I then type C in
cell A4. In other words, you’re on your own if you don’t continue to accept
AutoComplete’s typing suggestions.
If you find that the AutoComplete feature is really making it hard for you to
enter a series of cell entries that all start with the same letter but are
otherwise not alike, you can turn off the AutoComplete feature. Select File
Options Advanced or press Alt+FTA to open the Advanced tab of the Excel
Options dialog box. Then, select the Enable AutoComplete for Cell Values
check box in the Editing Options section to remove its check mark before
clicking OK.
Fill ’er up with AutoFill
Many of the worksheets that you create with Excel require the entry of
a series of sequential dates or numbers. For example, a worksheet may
require you to title the columns with the 12 months, from January through
December, or to number the rows from 1 to 100.
Excel’s AutoFill feature makes short work of this kind of repetitive task. All
you have to enter is the starting value for the series. In most cases, AutoFill
is smart enough to figure out how to fill out the series for you when you drag
the fill handle to the right (to take the series across columns to the right) or
down (to extend the series to the rows below).
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