Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Learning some handy data-entry techniques
Here’s how it works: Suppose that you’re entering product information in a column. One of
your products is named Widgets. The ﬁ rst time that you enter Widgets into a cell, Excel
remembers it. Later, when you start typing Widgets in that same column, Excel recognizes
it by the ﬁ rst few letters and ﬁ nishes typing it for you. Just press Enter, and you’re done.
To override the suggestion, just keep typing.
AutoComplete also changes the case of letters for you automatically. If you start entering
widgets (with a lowercase w) in the second entry, Excel makes the w uppercase to be
consistent with the previous entry in the column.
You also can access a mouse-oriented version of AutoComplete by right-clicking the cell and choosing Pick from
Drop-down List from the shortcut menu. Excel then displays a drop-down box that has all the text entries in the
current column, and you just click the one that you want.
Keep in mind that AutoComplete works only within a contiguous column of cells. If you
have a blank row, for example, AutoComplete identiﬁ es only the cell contents below the
If you ﬁ nd the AutoComplete feature distracting, you can turn it off by using the Advanced
tab of the Excel Options dialog box. Remove the check mark from the check box labeled
Enable AutoComplete for cell values.
Forcing text to appear on a new line within a cell
If you have lengthy text in a cell, you can force Excel to display it in multiple lines within
the cell: Press Alt+Enter to start a new line in a cell.
When you add a line break, Excel automatically changes the cell’s format to Wrap Text. But
unlike normal text wrap, your manual line break forces Excel to break the text at a speciﬁ c
place within the text, which gives you more precise control over the appearance of the text
than if you rely on automatic text wrapping.
To remove a manual line break, edit the cell and press Delete when the insertion point is located at the end of the
line that contains the manual line break. You won’t see any symbol to indicate the position of the manual line break,
but the text that follows it will move up when the line break is deleted.