Excel > Excel 2003 Foundation > Creating a workbook


An amazing and often under utilised feature of Excel is the Autofill. Autofill is the use of the fill handle to copy data and sequences across a range of cells. Its name is often shortened to fill.

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To fill a range of cells:

  1. Select the cell with the content you wish to copy
  2. Point at the black square that appears in the bottom right corner of the cell, until your mouse pointer becomes the fill handle
  3. Click and drag in the direction of the range you wish to fill.

Demonstration of the fill technique

Excel will copy the contents of the cell across the range that you select.

You can fill a sequence by selecting the range of cells that contain the sequence, and then filling as before. This will also work with dates.

Filling a sequence Filling dates

This feature becomes very powerful when used with cells containing formulas. A lot of time can be saved by copying formulas across a range of cells. This is covered in the tutorial on relative and absolute cell references.

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