Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Fast AutoFill.

Fast AutoFill

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 17, 2021)

1

The AutoFill feature in Excel is a great boon to certain types of editing. The basic use of the feature (clicking and dragging on the AutoFill handle) has been covered in other ExcelTips. There is another way you can use the AutoFill handle, however, that is a wonderful time-saving feature.

Suppose you have a column full of values in column A. For instance, you have values in the cells A3 through A417. Now, suppose you want to fill adjacent cells in column B with a sequential values, 1 through 415. Try this:

  1. In cell B3, place the value 1.
  2. In cell B4, place the value 2.
  3. Select the range B3:B4.
  4. Double-click on the AutoFill handle.

That's it! No dragging at all, and you now have cells B5:B417 filled with sequential values. Cool, huh?

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10672) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Fast AutoFill.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding a Horizontal Watermark with a PostScript Printer

In Windows, printer drivers translate formatting into a printer control language, like PostScript, that the printer ...

Discover More

Rounding to Two Significant Digits

Excel provides a variety of functions you can use to round values in any number of ways. It does not, however, provide a ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Background Color in All Tables

When working with tables (particularly those created by others), you can spend a large amount of time getting the ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Turning Off AutoFill for a Workbook

Don't want people using your workbook to be able to use AutoFill? You can add two quick macros that disable and enable ...

Discover More

AutoFilling with Weekdays

Need to fill a range of cells with the days of the week? Excel makes it easy to do so using AutoFill.

Discover More

AutoFill with Random Numbers

When entering data into a worksheet, you may have a need to fill a range of cells with a group of random numbers. This ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight more than 6?

2021-04-19 09:17:47

Lisa

I tried this tip, the first time, it just copied the #2 all the way down, rather than sequentially. The 2nd time, I had to change the format from general to number then it worked. So perhaps add that to the instructions? Default cell format is General. How would this work if you wanted the cells to run a through z?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.