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Using AutoFill to Fill Cells Above or to the Left

If you’re familiar with Excel’s AutoFill feature, you know that you can enter a member of a series (such as “Jan” or “Mon”) in a cell, then use the fill handle, dragging down or to the right, to have Excel fill in the remaining members of the series.

You may also know that you can enter two numbers or dates in adjacent cells, select the cells, then use the fill handle to have Excel fill in the next numbers or dates in the series.

And you may know that you can use the fill handle to copy a formula to adjacent cells.

All well and good. But did you know that you could also use AutoFill to fill cells above or to the left? Here’s how:

  1. Enter the last two numbers or dates in a series in adjacent cells, either in a row or a column.

  2. Select both cells.

  3. Using the last cell's fill handle, drag up (to fill a column) or to the left (to fill a row).

Just how handy is this? We don’t really know, but we think it’s nice to know that if you ever want to do it, you can.

 (Posted 11/26/2000)