How To Use Fill Function in Microsoft Excel 2013

Knowing the Fill function in Excel 2013 is helpful when it comes to knowing how to categorize different types of data. Generally, using the Fill function is based on Excel’s ability to fill in similar values in other cells. To make this clear, let’s take a look at some practical examples.

1. You need to write months, from January to December, in sequence, and place them in row. Instead of typing the name of each one, do this:

• Type the word January in any of the cells. After moving the cursor to the right bottom corner of a cell’s selection rectangle, you’ll find a small black plus sign there. This is called the Fill handle. Hold it down with your mouse, and then pull it to the right-hand row’s cells. You’ll then get the list of these months:

Horizontal Fill

2. You need to write down the numbers from 1 to 20 in column.

• First, you’ll need to give the step value – or by how much Excel will need to increase each next number. For example, if the step value is 1, then you’ll get the numbers 1 and 2 listed in a column. Mark them together to get the step value. So, each of the next numbers listed will be increased by 1, giving you 1,2,3,4,5…20. This is called a series.

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• If you need to get the numbers 1,4,7,10… – the step value here will be 3. Type 1 and 4 in a column under one another. The rest of the technique uses the Fill handle just like in the first example. Here’s what it looks like:

Vertical Fill

You can pull the Fill handle in a downward direction to get columns. Or, to get the same list of figures in a Row, pull the Fill handle to the cells on the right.

Note that Excel will minus the step value from each previous figure if you pull the Fill handle to the left of a Row or up a Column.

If you do not give the step value, Excel will copy the figures to any rows or columns where you pulled the Fill handle. Check out some examples here:

Step value-series

Here is another technique for using Fill in Excel 2013 and a practical example.

You have the date (for example, 1-Mar-2013), and you need to fill your list with the same dates, just in 3 month increments from this date. The last date in the list has to be 31-Dec-2016. You need to place data in the column.

• Go to the Home tab. See Editing in the right top of the Ribbon and select Fill (with the arrow pointing down). Drop it down, and the dialog window will open where you can select any attributes of Fill. Choose Series.

• Fill-in the attributes:

– You need your data placed in the column. Click Series in/Columns.
Type/Date (1-Mar-2013).
Date unit/Month (you need dates which are 3 months later), so your step value is 3.
– Specify a Stop value—the last date which will be shown on your list (31-Dec-2016).

Fill -series

Click on OK and you will see the result:


You can get variants of data in cells by giving attributes in the Fill button’s dialog window.

To delete everything without closing the document, press the small button between the numbers of rows and columns in the upper-left corner (where the big white plus sign is on the previous screenshot). All cells will be marked by gray color. You should then press the Delete button on the keyboard.


Excel 2013 training by Simon Sez IT


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