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Save your sanity: Automatically fill data into your worksheet (Excel 2016/2013)

When you need to create a list of data that follows a pattern, let Excel’s AutoFill feature do the mundane work for you. To create a list from 1 to 10, type the number 1 and hit [Enter], then select that cell and hover your mouse over the black box in the lower-right corner of the cell until the cursor forms a plus sign. Drag ten rows down, and release.

If Excel didn’t quite read your mind, don’t despair! You might be left with 10 rows of the number 1 instead of the consecutive numerals you expected. There’s a fix. Click on the Auto Fill Options button in the lower-right corner of your selection, and choose Fill Series from the resulting dropdown list. If your list is more obscure, simply provide more information. For example, to start at 0 and increase by 0.5 in each row, type the first two rows of data, select those cells, and use the selection box in the lower-right corner to invoke AutoFill.

You can also use AutoFill with other number formats such as date and time. Excel provides many date-specific options on the Auto Fill Options dropdown list, such as Fill Days, Fill Weekdays, and Fill Months.


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