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Creating a Series

Instead of using the fill handle to create a series, you can use Excel's Series command to gain a little more control over the whole process. Follow these steps:

Select the first cell you want to use for the series, and enter the starting value. If you want to create a series out of a particular pattern (such as 2, 4, 6, and so on), fill in enough cells to define the pattern.

Select the entire range you want to fill.

Choose Edit, Fill, Series. Excel displays the Series dialog box, shown in Figure 1.9.

Figure 1.9. Use the Series dialog box to define the series you want to create.

Either click Rows to create the series in rows starting from the active cell, or click Columns to create the series in columns.

Use the Type group to click the type of series you want. You have the following options:

LinearThis option finds the next series value by adding the step value (see step 7) to the preceding value in the series.
GrowthThis option finds the next series value by multiplying the preceding value by the step value.
DateThis option creates a series of dates based on the option you select in the Date Unit group (Day, Weekday, Month, or Year).
AutoFillThis option works much like the fill handle does. You can use it to extend a numeric pattern or a text series (for example, Qtr1, Qtr2, Qtr3).

If you want to extend a series trend, activate the Trend check box. You can use this option only with the Linear or Growth series types.

If you chose a Linear, Growth, or Date series type, enter a number in the Step Value box. This number is what Excel uses to increment each value in the series.

To place a limit on the series, enter the appropriate number in the Stop Value box.

Click OK. Excel fills in the series and returns you to the worksheet.



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