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
- 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
- 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.
- In cell A1, type Day 1
- In cell A2, type Day 2
- Select cells A1 and A2 (release
the mouse after selecting).
- 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
- 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:
- In cell B1 enter January (remember to press Enter after typing
- Select cell B1 (remember to release the mouse after selecting
- Drag the AutoFill handle down to cell B12. Excel should fill
the cells with February, March, etc.
- In cell C1 enter Jan (remember to press Enter after typing
- Select cell C1 (remember to release the mouse after selecting
- Drag the AutoFill handle down to cell C12. Excel should fill
the cells with Feb, Mar, etc.
- In cell D1 enter Monday (remember to press Enter after typing
- Select cell D1 (remember to release the mouse after selecting
- Drag the AutoFill handle down to cell D12. Excel should fill
the cells with Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.
- 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:
- Copy Cells will simply repeat the contents of the cells selected
in step 3. above.
- Fill Series will complete a pattern if one is detected, e.g. Day
3, Day 4, etc.
- Fill Formatting Only will copy only the formatting of the cells
selected in step 3. above.
- Fill Without Formatting will fill the receiving cells without copying
the formatting that is applied to the cells selected in step 3. above.
- Other options may also be available depending on the type of series you
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