For this lesson you need to open the sample file First Quarter Sales and Profit-8 from your Sample Files folder.
This lesson introduces AutoFill, one of Excel's most powerful features.
I'll begin the lesson by deleting the contents of cells C3 and D3. So I select cells C3 and D3 and press the Delete key on the keyboard.
I'm now going to click on cell B3 to make it the active cell. And notice that the active cell has a green border around it, but it also has a spot on the bottom right hand corner. This is called the AutoFill Handle.
If I hover the mouse cursor over the AutoFill Handle, I'll see the black cross cursor shape. Many of my students have great difficulty with this when they try it for the first time, because if you hover slightly too high, you'll see the four headed arrow cursor shape, and that would move the cell. And if you hover slightly to the left, you'll see the white cross cursor shape, and that would select the cell. So be very careful that you see the black cross cursor shape, (the AutoFill cursor shape).
When you see the black cross, carefully hold down the mouse button and drag to the right. And notice that, as I drag to cell C3, the word "Feb" appears underneath the cell. And as I continue to drag to cell D3, the tip "Mar" appears under the cell.
I'm now going to release the mouse button, and the words Feb and Mar appear in the cells.
As well as being able to work with months, AutoFill can also work with days of the week.
I'll type Monday into cell A18, and then I'll hover over the AutoFill Handle until I see that black cross cursor shape, and then click and drag downwards. And notice that, as I do, tips are appearing with the different days of the week. And when I release the mouse button, the days of the week are shown in the AutoFilled cells.
As well as working with months and days of the week, AutoFill is happy to work with numbers.
Let's put sequential numbers into cells B18 to B24. So in cell B18, I'll type the number: 1, and in cell B19 the number: 2. I'll then select both cells, hover over the AutoFill Handle until I see the black cross cursor shape, and then click and drag to the bottom of the range. And you can see that this time AutoFill has created sequential numbers.
As well as sequential numbers, AutoFill can work with number ranges.
In cell C18, I'll type the number: 9. And in the cell beneath that, I'll type the number: 18.
There's an interval of nine between those numbers. So if I select both numbers and AutoFill to the end of the range, you can see that each number now has an interval of nine between it and the number above. In other words, I've got the nine times table.
As well as working with number intervals, AutoFill also works with dates.
I'll type the date: 01-Jan-08, into cell D18, and then I'll type: 02-Jan-08, into cell D19. I'll now select both dates and AutoFill to the end of the range. And you can see that I now have sequential dates.
AutoFill's also useful when you want to copy text into adjacent cells. I'll click in cell E18 and type the word: Adjusted, into the cell. I can now AutoFill cell E18 either upwards, to the right, to the left, or down. I'm going to put the text: Adjusted into cells E19 to E24. So I'll adjust down to the end of the range and, when I release the mouse button, I have the same text in every AutoFilled cell.
AutoFill is a lot more sophisticated than this, and there's many things you can do with AutoFill. You'll be discovering them all in the next three lessons. But for the moment, all that remains is to save your work.
And I'm going to save with the new name: First Quarter Sales and Profit-9. And as usual, I'll save to the folder above my Sample Files folder.
I click the Save button, and you've now completed Lesson 2-14: Use AutoFill for Text and Numeric Series.