Excel auto-fill -Number series


You want to number the rows in your sales overview. You can easily type the numbers 1 to 5 next to each product. Excel auto-fill, on the other hand, offers you a function that will save you the typing.

In this learning module you will learn how to auto fill number series in Excel.


Excel auto-fill  offers you the opportunity to semi-automatically produce any number series. Here are examples of possible number series:

To do this, Excel needs two numbers of the planned series. From these two numbers Excel can recognize how the series should continue. So if you want to insert a number series from 1 to 10, you need to enter 1 and 2 into two adjoining cells:

Select both cells and then release the left mouse button. Note the small square at the borrom right corner of the selection. Place the cursor there. The cursor will then change into a black plus sign.

Press and hold the left mouse button. Now drag the mouse in the required direction, here, down. As you drag you will see the numbers as you progress in the number series.

The number series is completed and inserted into the cells the mouse is released.

Excel auto-fill HINT (1):

If you end up dragging the mouse too far, exceeding the planned end of the series, you can go back again until you reach the correct value, as long as you are still holding the mouse button down.

Excel auto-fill HINT (2):

You can also fill other series by the same principle – described by the technical term Fill or AutoFill. For instance, enter a date in a cell. The adjoining cells can now be automatically filled with the dates of the following days by dragging, as explained in this learning module.

By clicking on the SmartTag, you can choose whether to fill the cells with all days or just with weekdays:

Excel auto-fill HINT (3):

This method is also used when copying formulas and calculations. You can learn more about using AutoFill with formulas in the AutoFill (copying formulas) learning module.

Excel auto-fill HINT(4):

AutoFill also works with dates or names of months. Type “January” in a cell. With AutoFill you can automatically fill the adjoining cells with February, March, and so on.

You have now successfully numbered a column. You can compare the result with the file overview_of_sales_3_2_5_5_e.xlsx.

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