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Excel 2003: AutoFill

Excel 2003: AutoFill

AutoFill is a great way to save yourself time when entering recognizable sets of data. For instance, the months of the year ALWAYS occur in the same order. Like clockwork, February comes after January, which falls after December, etc.

Excel 2003 stores lists such as the months of the year or the days of the week so that when you need to enter the data, all you need to do is type the list entries and AutoFill will complete the rest.

Using AutoFill

     
  1. Type the first entry from a recognized list (i.e., a month or day of the week)
     
  2.  
  3. Position your mouse on the lower-right corner of the active cell
      (the mouse pointer should resemble a thin crosshair)
     
  4.  
  5. Click and drag down or to the right
     

If the entry you typed is not part of a recognized list, Excel will copy the entry when using the AutoFill handle.

Creating a Custom AutoFill List

In addition to the recognized list entries, you can create your own lists, too. The “official list” of AutoFill entries is located in the Options Dialog box on the Custom Lists tab.

Figure 15. Options Dialog Box – Custom Lists Tab

 

To create your own custom list, you can either import from an existing list typed in Excel or add the list items directly. Follow the steps below to add list items directly:

     
  1. Choose Tools: Options… from the Menu bar
     
  2.  
  3. Click the Custom Lists tab
     
  4.  
  5. Click inside the List Entries box and type your list, pressing [Enter] between each entry
     
  6.  
  7. Once the list is complete, click Add
     
  8.  
  9. Click OK to close the Options Dialog box