Excel: Autofill feature of cells


Detailed help

When you enter text into a cell, like headings for rows, you only need to type the few first letters of the word, and Excel will suggest a previously entered value:

In this example, the letter h is typed in, and the program automatically suggests the word Helsinki as the value for the cell (the capital H will be added automatically). Accept the value as normally. If the value should be something else, type it as normally.

If the values being entered are very similar, you can choose a previously entered value for the cell using the quick menu (opened with the secondary mouse button). From the quick menu, choose Pick from a Drop-down List, and pick the value you want from the list.

Using series

Spreadsheet programs usually have pre-made series for lists such as days of the week or names of the months, and for abbreviations. A time series does not need to start with the first day of the week or year, or with the first month.

Type the first value of the time series into a cell. Place your cursor over the cell and drag until you reach the desired point in the series by using the fill handle.

By using the fill handle, you can also drag the series backwards, upwards or to the left, filling for example the weekdays Thu, Wed, Tue, Mon. You can also create additional series, e.g. using numbers and text. Fill the two first values in the series either side-to-side or one underneath the other. Select the cells and complete the series by dragging the fill handle. If you want the program to create the series by using specific numbers, you can set the spacing with the first two numbers. After doing so, select both cells and complete the series by dragging the fill handle.

Creating your own series

You can also create your own lists, which will be used similarly to existing series (such as month names in a different language).

From the Tools menu select Options. Navigate to the Custom Lists tab. Select New List as active on the list, and fill in the desired list into the field on the options window. Line breaks are inserted with the enter button.

When the list is complete, click the Add button, and your list will be available for use just like the program's pre-made series. This same window also allows you to edit your lists afterwards.