How to use autofill in Excel


Last updated on December 8th, 2022 at 02:51 pm

You can save a lot of time working on Excel by using the autocomplete function.

When we work in Excel we already know that we will waste a lot of time doing repetitive things like inserting the numbers, columns, results, and equations needed to fill out the worksheet. If we are a beginner with this powerful program, perhaps we have not yet become fully familiar with the automatic compilation, which in many cases allows you to expand the equations and calculations to entire rows or columns, to apply a mathematical formula to multiple cells, and even to format the text of a table with the same characteristics as the one chosen at the beginning.


To save a lot of time and start using the Microsoft Office suite like a real pro, in this guide we will show you how to use automatic compilation on Excel, so you can speed up the compilation of cells and tables avoiding repeating tedious steps and spending time saved when filling out other Excel spreadsheets or solving calculation problems.

Use autofill in Excel

In the following chapters, we will show you how to best use Excel autofill in some common scenarios that can be easily replicated in real life; obviously, we will have to adapt the suggestions to the data in our possession and to the type of work done on the spreadsheet since the examples shown are generic and only useful for understanding the potential of automatic compilation on Excel.

Examples of autofill in Excel

The first example of automatic compilation that we can apply on Excel is obtainable with the days of the week or the months of the year. To try it all we have to do is type Monday or January in any cell of the spreadsheet and drag the lower right corner of the cell, so as to recreate the entire calendar or days of the week.


Obviously, by dragging over the days and months we will obtain a redundancy, useful for covering several weeks or several different years and thus inserting all the data necessary to cover a longer period of time than a single week or a single year.

Connected to the previous example is the compilation suggestion that we can receive with the dates: by inserting a precise date in any cell and dragging we will be able to obtain (as a row or as a column) the dates subsequent to the one entered, taking into account the months and/or of the days we want to insert.

We will thus be able to create complete calendars to fix appointments and to organize the mathematical data to be processed, as also seen in our guide How to create a calendar in Excel.

With these simple examples removed, it is time to move on to the automatic compilation examples that concern mathematical calculations and formulas; if we create for example a precise sequence of numbers with a constant value, this value will be replicated in all the cells that we will expand downwards or to the side.

By entering two numbers with a precise sequence in two cells and selecting them, just scroll down to replicate the sequence; if this is not possible (a simple copy takes place) make sure to open the drop-down menu in the lower right corner of the selection and press the Copy formatting only item.

If we have inserted a formula in a column of a table and we want to replicate it in all the other columns, just select the result of a single column and drag to the right, so as to replicate the formula or mathematical calculation in a simple way.

This behavior can also be extended to tables, all we have to do is drag the bottom right corner to immediately get new data, obtained from Excel using the ones we had already created (even if the data is not accurate or is not what we wanted to insert, we can quickly replicate all the formulas and change only the numbers).

Excel also allows you to use automatic compilation to copy the formatting of a text inside the table, so as not to have to change the font and background on every single cell that we have already filled in when drawing up the graph or the data to be inserted in the table.

Once you have chosen the font, the size of the text, and the background color of the cell (all options available at the top in the Home tab ), drag the lower right corner of the modified cell towards the other cells, press the lower corner on the right and, in the drop-down menu, select the item Copy formatting only. By doing so, all the cells will follow the imprinted formatting, without having to change all the cells one by one.


What we have shown you are just some of the autofill tricks that you can use on Excel to simplify your life and thus obtain a precise, clean and professional spreadsheet, saving you a lot of downtimes to devote to other spreadsheets or others. types of documents. Compared to other similar articles, this time we have not included the chapter dedicated to LibreOffice Calc (the free counterpart of Excel) since the automatic compilation works in a completely identical way: following the steps seen above we will be able to quickly compile the cells also on Calc, so as to simplify the housework.

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