How to Use the Fill Handle in Microsoft Excel

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In Brief...

If your Excel data follows a pattern, you can use the Fill Handle to quickly and easily add data to multiple rows and columns.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Excel: 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Instructions

  1. Enter enough data to establish a pattern and then select the cells containing the pattern.
    Select Cells

  2. Click on the Fill Handle, which is located in the bottom right cell of the selected cells.
    Click Fill Handle

  3. Drag the Fill Handle for as many rows or columns as desired.
    Drag Fill Handle

Examples of scenarios in which it might be useful to use the Fill Handle include:

  1. Entering a numbered list.
    Numbered List

  2. Entering days of the month.
    Days of the Month

  3. Entering months of the year.
    Months of the Year

  4. Entering yet to be named items which need to be differentiated.
    Enter Unnamed Items

  5. Copying formulas throughout a row or column.

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Author: Dave Dunn

Dave Dunn joined Webucator as Chief Operating Officer in early 2009. He has served as a CFO and COO for numerous small and medium-sized companies, including Summit Software Company, Insight Research Group, Avalon Consulting, CampaignBase.com and HealthcareOne. He has expertise in business development, financial management, marketing and human resources and particularly enjoys working with rapidly growing companies.

Dave received his Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and his MBA from Syracuse University. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Montessori School of Syracuse since 2001.

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