AutoFill

Use AutoFill to copy data or formulas to adjacent cells. AutoFill can also establish data patterns and fill with the names of months or days of the week.

Use AutoFill To Copy

  1. Select the cell(s) you wish to copy. Release the mouse if you selected by dragging. Notice the small square at the bottom right corner of the selected cell(s) - this is the AutoFill handle.


  2. Drag the AutoFill handle up, down, left, or right to copy the data to the receiving cells. If you double-click on the AutoFill handle, it will copy down to the point where a blank cell is discovered to the left.

Use The AutoFill Handle To Copy A Pattern

Copying a pattern is identical to using AutoFill to copy data (as described above) except that you need to select enough cells in the first step so that Excel can determine your pattern. Refer to the following example:

Example:  To use AutoFill to automatically type Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, etc., down column A.

  1. In cell A1, type Day 1


  2. In cell A2, type Day 2


  3. Select cells A1 and A2 (release the mouse after selecting).


  4. Drag the AutoFill handle down column A to row 20.  (The AutoFill handle is the small box located in the bottom right corner of the selected area.)

  1. AutoFill will complete Day 3 to Day 20.  Cool huh?

Use AutoFill To Enter Names of Months or Days

To automatically insert the names of months or days, simply select a cell that contains the name of a month or day then use the AutoFill handle to copy the data, as described above. Refer to the following example:

  1. In cell B1 enter January (remember to press Enter after typing January).


  2. Select cell B1 (remember to release the mouse after selecting it).


  3. Drag the AutoFill handle down to cell B12. Excel should fill the cells with February, March, etc.


  4. In cell C1 enter Jan (remember to press Enter after typing Jan).


  5. Select cell C1 (remember to release the mouse after selecting it).


  6. Drag the AutoFill handle down to cell C12. Excel should fill the cells with Feb, Mar, etc.


  7. In cell D1 enter Monday (remember to press Enter after typing Monday).


  8. Select cell D1 (remember to release the mouse after selecting it).


  9. Drag the AutoFill handle down to cell D12. Excel should fill the cells with Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.

AutoFill Options

  1. Notice that once you release the mouse after using AutoFill, a special fill symbol is displayed at the bottom right corner of the selection. Click on this symbol to display your copy options, as follows:

Lists Available

By default, Excel can automatically expand months of the year and days of the week.  Example:  If you enter January into a cell then use the AutoFill handle to pull it over a few columns or down a few rows, Excel will automatically insert February, March, April, etc.  Neat huh?

You can also create your own lists.  Refer to the Custom Lists article.

Additional References