Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Taking the Drudgery out of Data Entry
Copying with AutoFill
You can use AutoFill to copy a text entry throughout a cell range (rather
than fill in a series of related entries). To copy a text entry to a cell range,
engage the Ctrl key while you click and drag the fill handle. When you do, a
plus sign appears to the right of the fill handle — your sign that AutoFill will
copy the entry in the active cell instead of creating a series using it. You can
also tell because the entry that appears as the AutoFill tip next to the mouse
or Touch Pointer while you drag contains the same text as the original cell.
If you decide after copying an initial label or value to a range that you should
have used it to fill in a series, click the drop-down button that appears on the
fill handle at the cell with the last copied entry and then select the Fill Series
command on the AutoFill Options shortcut menu that appears.
Although holding down Ctrl while you drag the fill handle copies a text entry,
just the opposite is true when it comes to values! Suppose that you enter the
number in a cell and then drag the fill handle across the row — Excel just 17
copies the number 17 in all the cells that you select. If, however, you hold
down Ctrl while you drag the fill handle, Excel then fills out the series (17, 18,
19, and so on). If you forget and create a series of numbers when you only
need the value copied, rectify this situation by selecting the Copy Cells
command on the AutoFill Options shortcut menu.
Creating custom lists for AutoFill
In addition to varying the increment in a series created with AutoFill, you
can also create your own custom series. For example, say your company has
offices in the following locations and you get tired of typing the sequence in
each new spreadsheet that requires them:
New York
Chicago
Atlanta
Seattle
San Francisco
San Diego
After creating a custom list with these locations, you can enter the entire
sequence of cities simply by entering New York in the first cell and then
dragging the Fill handle to the blank cells where the rest of the cities should
appear.
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