Excel Autocomplete and Autofill


Do you know that you don’t need to input every value into your cells one by one. Excel will help you input values into cells by automatically completing values while you are inputting (Autocomplete) or  by recognizing the pattern in your values and automatically filling values based on that pattern (Autofill).


When you are inputting a value into a cell, if that value shares same characters with other values on the same column, excel will automatically input remaining characters for you.

From there you need to;

  • Press enter to accept
  • Continue typing to input something different
  • Press backspace to cancel Auto Complete.


When you are inputting values into cells with a pattern, you can enter first couple of values and let excel fill the rest based on same pattern. For this, you need to select your inputted values and hold fill handle() and drag it at the direction you need. You can also select how you want auto fill to behave (what to fill) after you finish dragging. For that you need to use the pop-up menu as shown below.

By default, excel will recognize these patterns:

  • Continueing numbers
  • Continueing days (based on your regional settings)
  • Continueing months (based on your regional settings)
  • Continueing dates, hours
  • etc.

You can also use double click on fill handle to auto fill cells downwards. But cells to be automatically filled needs to be in a column next to other data for that to work.

For example:

You have values “Security Check1” to “Security Check12” in cells A2:A13. When you input 01/01/2013 into cell B2 and 01/02/2013 into cell B3 then double click on the fill handle, excel will fill remaining cells from B4 to B13 with the continueing dates with same pattern (first day of every month).


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