Excel for Mac 2011 Worksheets: How to Drag a Series of Typing - dummies

Excel for Mac 2011 Worksheets: How to Drag a Series of Typing

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

In Office 2011 for Mac, Excel is pretty smart, because it can automatically fill in a series of either numbers or dates. Excel for Mac 2011 can even make intelligent guesses about a series of numbers.

Filling in a series in a range of Excel cells

Here’s an example of how Excel can fill in a range of cells for you:

  1. With Excel open, start with a blank, standard worksheet.

  2. Type January in a cell and then select a different cell.

  3. Click the cell that has the word January in it.

  4. Position the mouse cursor over the lower-right corner of the selected cell (the fill handle) so that it becomes the solid cross cursor.

  5. Drag the fill handle down or to the right and watch Excel do some magic.

    As you drag across the cells, you see the tooltip note each month in the series.

Release the mouse a few cells over, and Excel enters all the month names for you.


Filling in a complex pattern in Excel 2011

Excel can do more than fill in a series of consecutive numbers or dates. While it can manage to divine months of a year or days in a week from just one cell, Excel can also figure out most series of numbers from just two or three starting numbers. Series can be in rows or in columns. Follow these steps to see how Excel deduces what number values to fill in:

  1. Enter 1 in cell B2 and enter 3 in cell C2.

    Typing in a cell dismisses the widget. Notice that 1 and 3 are odd numbers in sequence in adjoining cells.

  2. Select B2:C2.

    The trick here is to select both cells (drag over both cells) so that Excel notes the first two values of the series.

  3. Without clicking anything else, grab the fill handle’s cross cursor and drag it to the right.

    Excel deduces from the selected cells that you want a series of odd numbers and then fills in the series (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and more).


Filling a column in Excel 2011

Sometimes you want an entire column of the same thing. To do this, take these steps:

  1. Type text or a formula in row 1 of your column.

  2. Select the cell in row 1.

  3. Press Control-Shift-down arrow.

    The entire column becomes highlighted.

  4. Press Control-D.

    The entire column fills with the contents of the cell in row 1. The sheet has over a million rows, so give Excel a second or two to fill in.