Monday, December 11, 2023

Master the Magic of Excel: Unleash the Power of the Fill Handle

Microsoft Excel
Have you ever found yourself in a sea of data, manually copying formulas down a column in Excel? 

Have you ever wondered if there’s a faster, more efficient way? 

Here's a Cool Tip.  Use Microsoft Excel's most underutilized feature: the Fill Handle.

In Microsoft Excel, double-clicking the fill handle will automatically copy a formula down to the end of the data. 

The fill handle is a small black square in the bottom right corner of the active cell. 

When the pointer changes to a small black plus sign, you can double-click the fill handle to activate the AutoFill feature. - Back To Work Monday

Here's how to do it.
  • Select the cell you want to copy.
  • Hover over the fill handle in the bottom right corner of the cell.
  • Double-click the fill handle.
  • The cells below will auto-populate based on the prior column and where you left off.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of your data to check if the formula has been copied correctly.

The Fill Handle can save you a significant amount of time, especially when dealing with large datasets. 

However, it’s important to note that it copies the exact formula, including relative cell references. 

If your formula includes absolute cell references, you may need to adjust them accordingly.

Excel Double Click Handle to Autopopulate

fig. 1 - Microsoft Excel - Double Click Selection Handle to Auto-Populate to End of Data

The Fill Handle is enabled by default in Excel. 

If it’s not working, check your settings: File > Options > Advanced > Enable fill handle and cell drag-and-drop.

Microsoft Excel - Enable Fill Handle
fig. 2 - Microsoft Excel - Enable Fill Handle

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