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Hour 8. Using Excel 2003 > Smarter Fills with AutoFill

Smarter Fills with AutoFill

Even if the only fill Excel performed was the copying of data across rows and columns, the data fill would still be beneficial. Excel goes an extra step, however: It performs smart fills with a feature known as AutoFill. AutoFill is perhaps the single reason why Excel took over the spreadsheet market a few years ago and has been the leader ever since. When you use AutoFill, Excel examines and completes data you have entered.

The five-year pro forma period you were setting up in the preceding section included the years 2003 through 2007, for example. You can type 2003 under the first Year title and type 2004 under the second title. Select both cells, and then drag the fill handle right three more cells. When you release the mouse button, you see that Excel properly fills in the remaining years (as shown in Figure 8.4).


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