How to Use AutoFill in Excel

How to Use AutoFill in Microsoft Excel

Sept. 2, 2014 3:22 pm / Posted by Michael Eric to Office Tricks
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"How to create and use AutoFill in Microsoft Excel?"

In Microsoft Excel 2013, 2010, 2007, AutoFill is a feature that allows the user to extend a series of numbers, dates, or even text to the necessary range of cells. This little option gives you plenty of possibilities. Use Flash Fill in Excel, autofill dates and numbers, populate numerous cells, and get custom list values.

Here you can learn the instruction on how to create and use AutoFill in Excel.

Note: Last time we introduced how to use Flash Fill in Excel 2013. Get to know.

Part I: Enable or disable the AutoFill Feature in Excel

The fill handle option is turned on in Excel by default. So whenever you select a range you can see it in the bottom-right corner. In case you need to get Excel AutoFill not working, you can switch it off by doing the following:

  • 1. Click on File in Excel 2010-2013 or on the Office button in version 2007.
  • 2. Go to Options -> Advanced and untick the checkbox Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop.

    how to use autofill in excel
  • 3. Click OK.

Besides turning off AutoFill, the above steps also turn off the ability to drag the contents of a cell from one location to another.

Part II: Create and Use AutoFill in Excel

Step to Create AutoFill

  • Step 1. Open an Excel sheet and enter any day, month or number and hold down right-button and move horizontally or vertically.

    create autofill in excel
  • Step 2. The next value will be automatically filled in.

    how to use autofill in excel

To Create Custom AutoFill

  • Step 3. In the File tab, click on Option, an Excel option dialog box will be shown, click on Advanced.

    how to use custom autofill in excel
  • Step 4. In the Advanced tab, click on Edit custom list.

    create autofill in excel
  • Step 5. The Custom List window will be shown.

    how to use autofill in excel
  • Step 6. In the custom list, enter your custom item and click on Add, and then OK.

    how to use custom autofill in excel
  • Step 7. After creating the custom AutoFill you can use it as a predefined AutoFill; type any list item and hold down the right-button and move horizontally or vertically.

    how to use custom autofill in excel
  • Step 8. The List value will be automatically filled in.

    how to use autofill in excel

One of the most popular questions is how to autofill numbers in Excel. This can also be dates, times, days of the week, months, years and so on. In addition, Excel's AutoFill will follow any pattern.

For example, if you need to continue a sequence, just enter the first two values into the starting cell and grab the fill handle to copy the data across the specified range.

create autofill in excel

You can also auto-populate any arithmetic progression sequence where the difference between numbers is constant.

how to use custom autofill in excel

It will even alternate sequences if the selected cells don't relate to each other numerically, like on the picture below.

how to use autofill in excel

After having a rough understanding of AutoFill in Excel, you can use it more smoothly. If you need know more information about Excel, you can click to learn how to password protect Excel 2013.

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