Use AutoFill to enter own list
Autofill in Excel can save time entering standard data. A common example is to use the AutoFill handle in Excel to input the days of a week or months of a year into a range of cells.
For example: type February in a cell, click and drag the small square handle in the bottom right of the cell. The remaining months are filled in.
The AutoFill can be used to enter your own list using a custom set of data. e.g. The names of departments in an organisation, names of companies, city names, regions, states, counties, customers, personnel etc.
There are a number of benefits which will be experienced when working with custom lists and using Autofill to enter data into cells.
Firstly, using Autofill speeds up the data entering process.
Secondly, the integrity of the data is high since the user is not actually entering the information directly and thus avoids making spelling errors.
Thirdly, it is a simple process to add to or delete entries from the original list making this a powerful tool to enhance user experience.
How to use Autofill in Version 2010:
File Ribbon, Options, Advanced category (left side of dialog) then scroll down to the General Section. At the end of this section is the Edit Custom Lists button. Click this button.
In the right hand pane click and type the list required, such as dept names (pressing enter after each one). Once you have a list, click the Add button to move them to the left pane.
NB. You can also import a range directly. This option is at the bottom of the dialog box.
You can now type any of the list names in any cell, click and drag the Fill handle to see the remaining list.
How to use Autofill in Version 2007:
Click the Office button in the top left hand corner and then click Excel options next to the Exit button. In the Popular section you will find the Edit Custom Lists button where you will be able to create or import your own lists as mentioned above.
How to use Autofill in Version 2003 (and previous versions):
From the Tools Menu, Options, Edit Custom Lists.
The 'how to' is the same as for the above-mentioned versions.
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Science fiction often scares us with machines that can think for themselves. In the early days of Excel, the AutoFill feature must have looked like the free-thinking computer had arrived, but it is a harmless, if very useful time-saver
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