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Excel Basics   AutoSum   Formulas   AutoFill  

Excel Auto Fill:

The Fill Handle (auto fill) is an Excel utility to anticipate what the next cell may need e.g. if you type Monday into one cell and use the Fill Handle it will fill in the rest of the days of the week into the adjoining cells.

The Fill Handle is the small black box on the bottom left of a highlighted cell, see image below.

Float the pointer onto the small black box on the highlighted cell. Once its over the small black box it will change into a black cross. See below that you must wait for the cross to change into the small black cross before you can use the Fill Handle.

As an example lets do the days of the week. Start off by typing Monday into the top left cell A1. The cell must be highlighted to see the small black box. Float the pointer onto this small black box. When you see the cross change to the black cross, drag the cross across the cells like below.

This utility will also increment numbers and dates so feel free to experiment. A much more powerful use of Auto Fill is to use it with formulas; see further on in the lesson.

If you do not understand formulas go to them in the link above. If you see below there is a formula in cell B6 that adds the numbers in the B column.

As above for the days of the week, when you see the little black box as in the image above you can drag the Auto Fill across under the colums C,D,E and F. This will Auto Fill the formula Appropriate to thoes columns.

Below is the result; this is a very powerful utility and can be used in many ways.