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Excel Guide

How to Use Autofill in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Autofill in Excel is a handy feature that allows you to quickly fill a series of cells with a pattern or sequence. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use Autofill.

Method 1: Using the Menu Bar - Data Fill:

  1. Select Cells:
  2. Highlight the cell or cells that contain the pattern you want to fill.
  3. Go to the Menu Bar:
  4. Navigate to the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon.
  5. Click on "Fill":
  6. Under the "Data Tools" group, click on the "Fill" button.
  7. Choose Autofill:
  8. In the dropdown menu, select "Series" to open the Series dialog box.
  9. Set Series Parameters:
  10. Choose the type of series (e.g., Linear, Growth, Date).
  11. Enter the appropriate values and settings.
  12. Click "OK" to apply Autofill.

Method 2: Using the Autofill Handle:

  1. Select the Source Cell:
  2. Click on the cell that contains the pattern you want to fill.
  3. Position the Cursor:
  4. Move the cursor to the small square located in the bottom right corner of the selected cell (Autofill handle).
  5. Drag or Double-Click:
  6. Drag: Click, hold, and drag the handle over the cells you want to fill.
  7. Double-Click: Double-click the handle, and Excel will automatically fill down until the end of the contiguous data.

Common Uses of Autofill:

  • Fill Series:
  • Fill a series of numbers, dates, or text.
  • Copy Formulas:
  • Autofill can copy formulas to adjacent cells, adjusting cell references accordingly.
  • Extend Data Patterns:
  • Quickly replicate patterns or sequences.

Autofill Tips:

  • Custom Sequences:
  • You can create custom sequences by typing the first few values and then using Autofill.
  • Drag Options:
  • When dragging the Autofill handle, look for the small box at the bottom right corner of the dragged selection. This box allows you to choose drag options like Fill Series, Copy Cells, or Fill Formatting.
  • Autofill Options:
  • After using Autofill, you'll see a small square at the end of the filled range. Clicking on this square reveals Autofill options, such as Fill Series, Fill Formatting Only, or Fill Without Formatting.

Autofill is a time-saving feature in Excel that streamlines the process of populating cells with a consistent pattern. Whether you're working with numbers, dates, or formulas, Autofill can make your data entry more efficient.