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How to Use Custom Lists with Excel 2007's AutoFill Feature

In Excel 2007, you can create a custom series of names, locations, or other items that you use frequently and then use the AutoFill handle to automatically fill these list items in order in a workbook.

For example, say your company has offices in several locations, and you get tired of typing out the sequence in each new worksheet that requires them. After creating a custom list with these locations, you can enter the entire sequence of cities simply by entering one of the locations in the first cell and then dragging the AutoFill handle to the blank cells where the rest of the locations appear.

Creating a custom list

Follow these steps to create a custom list:

  1. Click the Office button and then click the Excel Options button.

    The Excel Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Popular tab.

    The Popular options appear in the right pane.

  3. Click the Edit Custom Lists button in the Top Options for Working with Excel section.

    The Custom Lists dialog box appears.

  4. Click inside the List Entries list box and then type each entry (in the desired order), pressing Enter after each list item.

  5. Click the Add button.

    The new list appears in the Custom lists box.

    Create a custom list to quickly enter items that you frequently type in worksheets.
    Create a custom list to quickly enter items that you frequently type in worksheets.
  6. Click OK two times to close both dialog boxes.

    Now you’re ready to put the custom list to use in a worksheet.

If you’ve already entered the list of items in the worksheet, you don’t need to type these items again in the List Entries text box. Instead, click inside the Import List from Cells text box, click the Minimize Dialog Box button (to the right of this text box), and then drag through the range of cells to select the list items. Click the Maximize Dialog Box button, click the Import button to copy this list into the List Entries list box, and click OK two times.

Using a custom list

To use a custom list you’ve created, follow these steps:

  1. Type one of the list items in a cell and then press Enter.

    You can type any item from the custom list; it doesn’t have to be the first item.

  2. Select the cell containing the list item.

  3. Drag the AutoFill handle (in the lower-right corner of the cell) in the desired direction to create the list.

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