"How To Excel" Mini-Tutorials
by TheExcelAddict.com
"Helping Average Spreadsheet Users Become Local Excel Experts"

The Fill Handle Secret

In past tips I've showed you how to copy formulas and fill dates by dragging the Fill Handle (the small black square on the bottom-right corner of a selected range of cells). When you do this, Excel guesses what you want to do based on what is contained in the selected cells. However, sometimes you don't get what you want.

Do you know there is another secret hidden in that Fill Handle that most Excel users are unaware of. Those who have uncovered this secret, have gained complete control of Excel's fill options. Now I will share it with you.

Instead of dragging the Fill Handle while holding down the left mouse button, try it by dragging with the right mouse button. When you release the mouse button, a menu will pop up giving you a list of fill options.

Need to add a range of dates 2 weeks apart on your sheet. Enter a starting date in the first cell, then right-drag the Fill Handle for how many dates you want. Click Series, type 14 in the 'Step value' box and click OK. How about a series of dates for the 15th of each month. Enter a starting date, right-drag the Fill Handle for how many dates you want. Click 'Fill months' and click OK.

Go ahead! Try it out. You'll find lots of everyday uses for this hidden treasure.

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Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved by Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)

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