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Excel AutoFill

How to Use AutoFill in Excel

Auto Fill is a great way to enter sequential numbers, months or days quickly. Auto Fill looks at cells that you have already filled in and makes a guess about how you want to fill in the rest of the series. For example, if you enter January, Auto Fill will fill in the following months for you. Additionally, you can use Fill to copy formulas to adjacent cells.

Copy Data Using Auto Fill

You can also use Auto Fill to simply copy and paste a value to other cells.

  1. Select the cell that contains the data you want to copy.
  2. Position the mouse over the bottom-right corner of the cell.

    Before clicking and dragging, make sure you see a black plus symbol.

  3. Click and drag down or across the cells you want to fill.
    Autofill

    Double-click the bottom right corner of the selected cell(s).

The column is instantly populated with the value in the first cell.

Enter a Series of Values with Auto Fill

Auto Fill can also complete a series of values once a pattern has been established. For example, if you enter January, Auto Fill will fill in the following months for you.

  1. Select the cells that contain the first value of a series.
  2. Click and drag down or across the cells you want to fill.
    Autofill

    Double-click the bottom right corner of the selected cell(s).

    If you don't double-click the square (fill handle), the fill will not work correctly.

The column is filled all the way down, following the pattern that was established in the first few cells.

Selected Cell Entries in Next Three Cells
January February, March, April
Jan Feb, Mar, Apr
5:00 6:00, 7:00, 8:00
Qtr 1 Qtr 2, Qtr 3, Qtr 4
1/20/12 1/21/12, 1/22/12, 1/23/12
UPV-3595 UPV-3593, UPV-3594, UPV-3595

Auto Fill Options

If Fill doesn't enter cell content the way you expected, you can correct the content using Auto Fill Options. This button appears after using the Fill command, and it offers valuable control over how the Fill command works.

  1. Use Auto Fill to paste a series of values.

    A small Auto Fill Options button will appear at the bottom of the pasted values.

  2. Click the Auto Fill Options button.

    A list of ways you can control the cell content that is entered appears.

  3. Select a Fill option.
    Autofill

The cell content is changed according to the Fill option you chose.