Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Quick AutoFill Variations.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 3, 2014)
Everyone knows that when you are working on a spreadsheet and entering text, Excel attempts to be helpful and will suggest AutoFill based on the letters you type. There may, however, be times when you don't remember the exact beginning of the text, so the AutoFill feature is of little value.
One way around this conundrum that allows you to still take advantage of AutoFill is to right-click on the cell where you want to enter information and choose Pick From List from the resulting Context menu. Excel displays a drop-down list that shows the other items you have entered in the column, thereby allowing you to select from the list.
If you need still faster access, you can hold down the Alt key and press the Down Arrow. Excel displays the same list of items and allows you to pick the one you want. (And you don't even need to remove your hands from the keyboard!)
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2495) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Quick AutoFill Variations.
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Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.