Apply The Formula To The Entire Column In Excel Small Business Efficiency Tips – Microsoft Excel – Using the Auto Fill Feature

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Small Business Efficiency Tips – Microsoft Excel – Using the Auto Fill Feature

One of my favorite shortcuts in Excel is the auto-fill feature. If you move your mouse to the lower right corner of any cell, it will become a thin link symbol. By clicking on the plus and holding your mouse, you will copy the contents of the cell to the adjacent cells.

However, depending on what is in the cell, it is not an exact copy – it will increase. For example, if you have a month in a cell, it will increment by month (January, February, March, etc). This is the same for days of the week, quarters, etc. You will see a tool tip that will tell you what the final value will be as you continue to drag.

You can force Excel to increase for a certain period of time. For example, let’s say you want to upgrade in five days. If you put the first date in a cell, then the date five days later in the next cell, select two days and then click and drag on the autofill handle, the cells you drag will be filled five days apart. The default extensions are:

because the time is an hour

– because days are days

– days

– days of the week

Being able to select two cells with different increments can fail is very useful.

This is especially useful if you enter consecutive numbers on checks or invoices. If you enter the first check number and then the next check number, select both and drag down the auto fill handle, the cells will be filled with consecutive numbers.

If you have a long list of items and then decide to add a column to your worksheet with a formula, you can just double-click the autofill handle and it will complete the formula all the way down the worksheet. The program will check the cell to the left and fill it until it sees an empty cell.

You can create a custom list using tools/options and Custom List. Type the entries in your list and click on the Add button. This can be a list of employees, products, etc. You can use this option to create a list from a list of cells in your worksheet. Then all you have to do is enter the first word and use the auto-fill handle to drag and drop and additional words will be added in sequence.

Once you release the mouse button, you will notice a small box in the lower right corner which is your autofill option. When you click on the down arrow, you can change which autofill options are available. For example, you may want to easily download formats, fill in days of the week instead of all days, etc. Once you move to another cell and start working, this box will go away. So use this technique immediately.

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