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Basic Excel Training: How to Use AutoFill

This Excel course will help you learn Excel easily, and this article will show you how to speed up data entry dramatically using the AutoFill feature. It automatically detects patterns throughout the cells that are highlighted and will enter the rest of the sequence for you. It will also copy a series of words and add to a sequence of numbers. You can use it to continue patterns of weekly days, yearly quarters, months, words, dates, numbers and more; instead of typing it all individually. Fortunately, this tool is exceptionally simple to use. This is how you do it:

For the purposes of this Excel tutorial, I am going to use the months of the year as an example.

  • The first step would be to type January into a cell and press Enter.
  • Then go back to the cell where you typed the word. A black border will surround the cell and there will be a little black box in the extreme right-hand corner.


  • Hover over the box and a black cross (or AutoFill Handle) will appear.
  • Drag the AutoFill Handle over the cells you want to fill with data. You can go up, left, right and down; but you will clearly see the months it is computing on the right-hand side as you drag.
  • When you have reached the end of the list, simply release the AutoFill Handle and your information will be entered for you.


Now that you are able to AutoFill each month of the year; play with number sequences, dates, words, seasons, weekdays and more to get an insight into just how much AutoFill can repeat patterns for you. For those of you that have a variety of frequent patterns that must be entered, there are advanced Excel options to create custom lists for AutoFill as well.

After spending countless hours manually entering data, almost our entire group of Excel training course students in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas advised that we write this article. They were so excited to discover how much time they could save. For detailed information on how to make Excel work for you, you can watch our Excel videos.


Hector Garcia CPA and QuickBooks/Excel Trainer

Hector Garcia CPA and QuickBooks/Excel Trainer

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