How To Autofill In Excel

How To Autofill In Excel

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When you’re filling out spreadsheets, the autofill features in Excel can really help you save time.

In fact, a lot of the Excel tasks we do manually can be automated! In this article, we’ll show you two easy methods to autofill Excel, which we hope will make updating your spreadsheets easier. 

Autofill Every Other Cell

If you have experience using Excel you may already know how to use the autofill feature to autofill a cell based on another.

You just click and hold your mouse in the lower right corner of the cell, and drag it down to apply the formula in that cell to every cell below it. 

When a first cell is just a number rather than a formula, Excel will just automatically fill in the cells by counting up from one.

But what if you don’t want to apply the Excel autofill formula to all the cells below it? If this is the case, how do you auto-populate data in Excel based on another cell?

1

Autopopulating Every Other Cell

Step

1

Highlight The First Cells

Highlight the first cells in your chosen column.

Step

2

Move The Cursor In The Lower Right Corner Of The Two Cells

Next, move the cursor in the lower right corner of the two cells until the cursor changes to a plus sign.

Step

3

Then Hold And Drag Down Like You Normally Would

Then hold and drag down like you normally would. Now Excel won’t automatically fill every single cell based on the first one, but will instead only fill every second cell in each block.

Autopopulating can come in handy, especially when it comes to saving time.

What To Do With Other Cells

What do you do if these second cells are not empty? If this is the case, Excel will follow the rules in the second cell of the first block you highlighted to every other cell too.

So if the cell has a ‘2’ in it, Excel will autofill every other cell by counting up by 2.

2

Autofill To End-Of-Data In Excel

Dragging the mouse cursor over the whole set of 100 to 200 rows to autofill that column is fairly simple, but when you have thousands of rows it doesn’t exactly get harder but it takes a lot longer.

However, there is a quick and efficient way to do this. Let’s take a look at how you autopopulate a large amount of rows in Excel.

Step

1

Open The Excel Worksheet And Select Two Cells In A Column

Open the Excel worksheet and select two cells in a column. This can be any two cells.

Step

2

Rather Than Dragging All The Way Down The Column, Simply Press And Hold The Shift Key

Rather than dragging all the way down the column, simply press and hold the shift key.

You’ll then notice an icon with two horizontal, parallel lines instead of a plus icon when you move your mouse in the lower right corner of the cell.

Step

3

Double-click That Icon And Excel Will Autofill The Whole Column automatically

Double-click that icon and Excel will autofill the whole column automatically.

But it will only autofill the column to where the column next to it has data.

This method is an excellent time-saving tip. No more wasting hours trying to move the mouse down across hundreds and hundreds of rows!

Final Thoughts

Autofilling columns in Excel can really save you time, and as demonstrated above there are a couple of ways you can do this.

We hope that these methods will soon become second nature, and soon you will be autofilling formulas effortlessly! 

Becoming familiar with Excel formulas and functions not only improves your spreadsheets, but allows you to be more efficient, and learning how to autofill in Excel is a good place to start!