by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 1, 2014)
Iana wants to AutoFill a column of sequential numbers as "1.", "2.", etc., through "150.". The AutoFill will only work without the trailing period, but she wants the period there.
As Iana has discovered, AutoFill doesn't do a great job on figuring out how to "increment" text. It does OK if you are working with well-established sequences, such as the alphabet or days of the week, but it is downright stupid when it comes to most other text values. And, unfortunately, entering a number (1) followed by a period places a text string (1.) in the cell. Bingo! AutoFill chokes.
There are two potential solutions. The first is to stick to numbers (which AutoFill can work with) and apply a custom format to the cells in order to add the period. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.
Your numbers should now all appear just fine with a trailing period. And, best of all, they are still numbers so you could do math with them, if necessary.
The second approach is to go ahead and expect that you numbers will end up as text. In this case, you should make sure that columns A and B are empty and then follow these steps:
=A1 & "."
Your numbers should now all appear just fine, with the trailing period, in column A. The difference between this approach and the earlier approach is that in this case the numbers aren't really numbers in the eyes of Excel—they are text values.
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