autofill excel
In Microsoft Excel, you can save lot’s of time and energy by automating a couple of tasks using the AutoFill feature. Autofill is a handy feature used when you want to duplicate or modify entries in a range of cells or fill a range of cells using certain criteria. By so doing,  unnecessary repetition and wastage of time are avoided.

In this article, we focus on how to autofill in Microsoft Excel.

To start off, we will show you how auto-filling happens. Hover your mouse cursor at the bottom-right corner of a cell and observe the cursor changing into a plus sign. To autofill, click, hold and drag the cursor to your desired cell to copy the contents.

1) How to autofill a range of cells with the same value

Assume you have a cell with the value,  for instance, ‘ALEX’. To duplicate the value to adjacent cells,  hover your pointer at the bottom-right corner of the cell. Click and hold as you drag along the adjacent cells up to the range you prefer and observe as the cells get auto-filled.

Autofill a cell range

This should work even in a horizontal autofill

2) Autofill days and months

If you didn’t know it, you can also autofill the days of the week and even months of the year. To achieve this, enter the first day of the week or month and drag the fill handle to autofill.

 autofill days of the week in Microsoft Excel

The same applies to months of the year.

How to autofill months of the year

3) Autofill a linear series

In a linear series, two values are inserted, and the difference between the two is added to arrive at the next value

For example, we have two consecutive values as shown below

How to autofill a growth series

The difference between the 2 values in 50. If you want to keep this incremental series, simply highlight the two cells as shown, hover the cursor at the bottom right corner of the second cell and drag all the way.

 autofill in linear series

You can also achieve this fete by first highlighting the two values. Next, using the fill handler, right-click and drag the pointer up to the desired cell. In the menu that appears, select the ‘Linear Trend‘ option.

Linear trend

The values will appear in a linear progression a shown

Values in linear growth

4) Autofill a growth series

Just like in the linear progression series, you can have the series grow with by multiplication factor. Consider the example below

growth by a factor of 2

If you want the series to growth by a multiplication factor of 2, then highlight the two values, right-click, hold and drag to the preferred cell.

On the Menu that appears, select  ‘Growth Trend’

growth trend

And here are the results! As you can observe, the consecutive values have been multiplied by a factor of 2.

growth rate results

5) Autofill a mathematical formulae

If you working on a worksheet that requires mathematical tabulations, autofill comes in handy in duplicating formulae to all the cells in a column where the tabulation is required.

Consider the tabulation below where we are tasked with getting the total sales for 10 states for the months of January and February. The formula  has been defined on the column in the first cell

How to autofill formula

To avoid typing the same formula for all the cells in the column, simply click on the bottom-right corner of the cell containing the formula, click and drag all the way to the last element, in this case, cell D10.

autofill formula

Wrapping Up

This brings a close to this guide. Autofill is a very handy tool that is used for avoiding repetitive tasks and tedious tasks in cells. it automates the filling of cells in rows and columns based on certain criteria or trend. The ball is now on your court. Give it a try and let us know how it went.