Copying Data to Other Cells

Copying Data to Other Cells

Another way to enter labels or values onto a sheet is to use the Fill feature. You can copy (fill) an entry into surrounding cells. For example, suppose you have a list of salespeople on a worksheet, and they will each get a $100 bonus. You can enter the 100 once and then use the Fill feature to insert multiple copies of 100 into nearby cells. To use the Fill feature for copying, follow these steps:

  1. Click the fill handle of the cell (the small block in the lower-right corner of the cell ) that holds the data that you want to copy (see Figure 2.5).

    Figure 2.5. Drag the fill handle to copy the contents of a cell into neighboring cells.


  2. Drag the fill handle down or to the right to copy the data to adjacent cells. A data tag appears to let you know exactly what data is being copied into the cells.

  3. Release the mouse button. The data is "filled" into the selected cells.

When you release the mouse, a shortcut box for Fill options appears at the end of the cells that you filled. Copy Cells is the default option for the Fill feature, so you can ignore the shortcut box for the moment. It does come into play when you enter a series in the next section.


Watch That Fill! The data you're copying replaces any existing data in the adjacent cells that you fill.

Entering a Series of Numbers, Dates, and Other Data

Entering a value series (such as January, February, and March or 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on) is accomplished using the Fill feature discussed in the preceding section. When you use the Fill feature, Excel looks at the cell holding the data and tries to determine whether you want to just copy that information into the adjacent cells or use it as the starting point for a particular series of data. For example, with Monday entered in the first cell of the series, Excel automatically inserts Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on into the adjacent cells when you use the Fill feature.

Sometimes Excel isn't quite sure whether you want to copy the data when you use Fill or create a series. This is where the Fill options shortcut box comes in. It enables you to select how the Fill feature should treat the data that you have "filled" into the adjacent cells. Figure 2.6 shows the creation of a data series using Fill.

Figure 2.6. Fill can also be used to create a series of data in adjacent cells.


When you create a series using Fill, the series progresses by one increment. For example, a series starting with 1 would proceed to 2, 3, 4, and so on. If you want to create a series that uses some increment other than 1, you must create a custom series.

Entering a Custom Series

If you want to create a series such as 10, 20, 30, where the series uses a custom increment between the values, you need to create a custom series. Excel provides two ways to create a custom series. To create a custom series using Fill, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the first value in the series into a cell.

  2. Enter the second value in the series into the next cell. For example, you might enter 10 into the first cell and then 20 into the second cell. This lets Excel know that the increment for the series is 10.

  3. Select both cells by clicking the first cell and dragging over the second cell.

  4. Drag the fill handle of the second cell to the other cells that will be part of the series. Excel analyzes the two cells, sees the incremental pattern, and re-creates it in subsequent cells.

You can also create a custom series using the Series dialog box. This enables you to specify the increment or step value for the series and even specify a stop value for the series.

  1. Enter the first value in the series into a cell.

  2. Select the cells that you want included in the series.

  3. Select the Edit menu, point at Fill , and then select Series . The Series dialog box opens (see Figure 2.7).

    Figure 2.7. The Series dialog box enables you to create a custom series.


  4. Enter the Step Value for the series. You can also enter a Stop Value for the series if you did not select the cells used for the series in step 2. For example, if you want to add a series to a column of cells and have clicked in the first cell that will receive a value, using a Stop Value (such as 100 for a series that will go from 1 to 100) will "stop" entering values in the cells when it reaches 100the Stop Value.

  5. Click OK to create the series.


Different Series Types Not only can you create a linear series using the Series dialog box (as discussed in the steps in this section), but you can also create growth and date series. In a growth series, the data you're copying replaces any existing data in the adjacent cells that you fill.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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