Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1: AutoFill
The AutoFill feature in Microsoft Excel can automatically fill in cells with
commonly used series (numbers, months, and days of the week) or with custom
lists you can create. This chapter demonstrates how to use the drag handle
and other ways to fill in information. These operations work in all directions:
top down, down up, left to right, and right to left. Figure 1.1 demonstrates this
Select two adjacent cells and release the mouse. When you hover again over the
lower right corner, your mouse pointer should change shape to a crosshair (
a drag handle. You can click and drag down the column and Excel will continue the
initial two-cell series for you.
You can AutoFill several types of data including, but not limited to, numbers,
dates, days, and annual quarters by selecting cells and dragging the handle as shown
in Figure 1.1.
By default, a number of AutoFill lists are pre-installed in the program. For a list
of the available AutoFill series, in the 2010 version we use the File icon to get to the
Excel Advanced Options menu and the Custom Lists menu. See Figure 1.2. For 2007
go to the Windows icon, click on Excel Options, and click on the Edit Custom Lists
button. See Figure 1.2.
You may add your own lists as needed to Custom Lists. This is explained at the
end of the chapter.
Try to use the following example for using the Custom Lists shown in Figure 1.3.
We filled in the information in the sheet. You may want to open the AutoFill sheet in
the Excel file for Chapter 1 on the web page. The example illustrates the use of the
AutoFill feature in Excel.
Select the first two values in column B (B2 and B3), click on the lower right drag
handle of cell B3, and pull the drag handle down toward cell B10.
Dragging down the information created the desired AutoFill effect of continuing
with the same series of numbers: 6, 9, 12, 15, . . . , 30. Try to drag down the
information shown in columns C and D. You will create the information shown in
After you experiment with a couple of columns, try a more efficient way: select
two vertical adjacent cells E2:E4. Release the mouse for a moment. Go to the drag
handle. This time, do not drag
just double-click . Excel will drag it down for you.
See Figure 1.5. It will complete filling for you to the end of the adjacent column on
the left. You may try double-clicking with more than one column selected at a time.
Double-click works only in one direction: down.