Excel shortcuts

How to Use the Excel Fill Handle Shortcut

The fill handle is a small square that appears in the bottom-right corner of the active cell, or the selected range of cells. When you position the mouse over the fill handle, the mouse pointer changes to a black crosshair. You can use the fill handle to quickly fill in a series of cells in a row or column with a pattern that you establish by using the values in other cells. For example, you can use the fill handle to create a series of monthly reports, or to number rows.

To use the fill handle, do the following:

  1. Select the cell that contains the starting value for the series.
  2. Position the mouse over the fill handle in the bottom-right corner of the cell. The mouse pointer changes to a black crosshair.
  3. Drag the fill handle down or across to the cells that you want to fill.

As you drag the fill handle, Excel displays a tooltip that shows the value that is being entered in each cell. You can stop dragging the fill handle by pressing the Esc key.

If you drag the fill handle across rows, Excel fills the selection with the series as a column. If you drag the fill handle down columns, Excel fills the selection with the series as a row.

You can also double-click the fill handle to automatically fill the selection with the series. For example, double-clicking the fill handle in the cell that contains the starting value for the series automatically fills the selection with the series based on the pattern that you establish by using the values in other cells.

If the cells that you want to fill are not next to the cell that contains the starting value for the series, you can select the cells, and then double-click the fill handle.

You can use the fill handle to fill a linear series, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 1, 3, 5, 7, 9. You can also use the fill handle to fill a nonlinear series, such as 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, 16. To fill a nonlinear series, you must first create the series in two or more cells. Then, you select the cells that contain the series, and double-click the fill handle.

You can use the fill handle to create a series of dates or days of the week. For example, you can enter 1/1/2010 in one cell, and 2/1/2010 in the cell below it. Then, you select both cells, position the mouse over the fill handle in the bottom-right corner of the selection, and drag the fill handle down or across the cells that you want to fill.

You can also use the fill handle to fill a series of numbers that are based on a formula. For example, if you enter the formula =ROW(A1:A5) in the first five cells of column A, the cells are filled with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. You can then select the cells that contain the numbers, position the mouse over the fill handle in the bottom-right corner of the selection, and drag the fill handle down or across the cells that you want to fill.

You can use the fill handle to copy formulas. For example, if cell A1 contains the formula =SUM(B1:B5), you can copy the formula to other cells by selecting cell A1, and then dragging the fill handle down or across the cells that you want to fill.

You can use the fill handle to fill a series of cells with an AutoFill option. For example, you can enter the days of the week in a row, and then use the AutoFill option to fill the cells below with the days of the week. To use the AutoFill option, you select the cells that contain the series, and then drag the fill handle down or across the cells that you want to fill.

You can also use the fill handle to fill a series of cells with a custom AutoFill option. For example, you can enter the days of the week in a row, and then use the custom AutoFill option to fill the cells below with the days of the week. To use the custom AutoFill option, you select the cells that contain the series, and then drag the fill handle down or across the cells that you want to fill.

You can use the fill handle to fill a series of cells with a Flash Fill option. For example, you can enter the days of the week in a row, and then use the Flash Fill option to fill the cells below with the days of the week. To use the Flash Fill option, you select the cells that contain the series, and then drag the fill handle down or across the cells that you want to fill.

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