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Office 2011 for Mac: Using the Custom Lists Feature in Excel

The Custom Lists feature is about making lists that Excel for Mac 2011 can refer to when filling in a series by dragging a selected cell’s fill handle (the solid crosshair cursor), which results in an automatic series fill.

Not only can Excel 2011 for Mac figure out number and date series on its own, but you also can teach Excel to figure out just about any series.

You have two easy ways to make a new series with Custom Lists:

  • Type a custom list from scratch, making entries in Excel Preferences.

  • Start with an existing series of cells in a workbook.

For example, say you frequently make reports that have a series of reoccurring days. The following sections provide examples of how to create a custom list in Excel Preferences and from a series of cells.

Making a custom list in Excel for Mac 2011 Preferences

To make a custom list to use in fills, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Excel→Preferences from the menu bar.

  2. In the Formulas and Lists section, click Custom Lists.

    The Custom Lists preferences pane displays. You see a handful of built-in series. You can’t change these.

  3. Select New List in the Custom Lists list.

  4. In the List Entries list, type the series entries in order.

    If you have both Return and Enter keys, press Return (not Enter) after each entry. If you have just one Return key that says Enter as well, press this key.

  5. Click the Add button when the list is complete.

    Your series is added to the Custom Lists list.

  6. When you’re done adding lists, click OK.

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Making a custom list from a series of cells in Excel for Mac 2011

If you have a worksheet with a series in a range of cells that you want to add, follow these steps to add the series to Custom Lists:

  1. In the Custom Lists window, click the small grid button next to the Import List from Cells pop-up menu.

    The small grid button is to the immediate left of the big Import button.

    Custom Lists preferences pane shrinks so you can see your worksheet. The cursor changes to a plus (+) sign.

  2. Select the cell range that contains the list.

    To do so, drag over the cells that contain the series you want to add to the Custom Lists preferences. A dotted line indicates the selected cell range, and Excel automatically types the selected range into Custom Lists preferences pane. Each cell's contents becomes a list entry.

  3. Press Escape or Return when you’re done selecting.

    Preferences displays. The Import List from Cells pop-up menu displays the range you selected.

  4. Click the Import button.

    The selected series appears under List Entries.

  5. Click the Add button.

    The selected series is added to Custom Lists list.

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