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Inserting a series of values PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bernie Vincent   
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
If you use Excel for maintaining information that consists of series of numbers or other kind of data that run in a particular sequence/interval, then you do not have to enter these values in manually. Excel provides a feature for automatically inserting a series of data points, with a variable interval. It can also copy the same data point across multiple columns or rows.
Confused? Well here are a few examples to explain.
Copying the same value
1. Open a blank Excel worksheet and type the value 12345 in an empty cell, say A1.
2. Place the cursor in the right hand corner of the cell over the tiny black square (the “fill” handle), and the cursor shape will change to a small plus symbol (+).
3. Hold the left mouse button down and drag the selection either across multiple columns or down multiple rows. When you have selected the required number of cells, release the mouse button, and the value 12345 will be copied to each of the previously blank cells that you highlighted.
Inserting Sequences
This function is potentially more useful and time saving. In this example:
1. Type the same value 12345 in cell A1 as above, and 12350 in cell A2 below it. This tells Excel that you wish the interval between values to be 5. You can make the interval any number you wish.
2. Highlight both cells, and place the cursor over the “fill” handle (the tiny black square), and whilst holding the left mouse button down, drag the selection over the required number of cells in the column.
3. Release the mouse button, and the selected cells will be filled in automatically with values in intervals of 5 (or whatever number you specified).
As an alternative method of inserting sequences with different intervals, do the following:
1. Type a value in a blank cell as before.
2. Place the cursor over the “fill” handle until the cursor changes to the small black cross; but this time use the right mouse button to click and drag to highlight the required number of cells.
3. Release the mouse button, and you will be presented with a menu of options for completing the process. Here you will be able to copy the first cell (same value) or fill with just formatting information etc. If you select Series, you can decide what type of sequence you require (Linear, Growth, trend etc). You can also specify the step or interval value and ending or stop value.
The above features also work equally very well for date or time information.
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