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Speeding Up Data Entry with AutoFill

Here, for once, is some Microsoft Intelli-sense that actually does make some sense because it is a real timesaver.

With AutoFill, you can fill out a sequential series of entries (such as months of the year or days of the week) across a row or up or down a column simply by entering the first entry in the series and then dragging the cell pointer by its Fill handle - the tiny black square that appears in the lower-right corner of the active cell. In addition, you can have Excel increment the entries in the series by values other than just one (be it one day, one month, or one number). And as if that isn't enough, Excel also enables you to create your own custom fill lists that tell Excel how to fill in a list whenever you enter one of its unique members and then go for the Fill handle.

All three of these procedures are covered in this tutorial on AutoFill, which is undoubtedly one of my favorite Excel features. You also use this same AutoFill feature to extend formulas in the tables in your spreadsheet. When using AutoFill to copy formulas, the feature naturally adjusts its cell references instead of generating a sequential series.