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: Filling a Cell.

Filling a Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2019)

1

There may be times when you need to fill a cell with a particular character or group of characters. For instance, you may need to fill a cell with the characters " guess " (with the spaces) for the entire width of the cell. Excel allows you to do this very easily. It repeats the characters over and over again, regardless of the cell width. To utilize this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Type the characters that you want repeated in the cell.
  2. Choose Cells from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Alignment tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  5. Use the Horizontal drop-down list to select the Fill option.
  6. Click on OK.

Excel repeats whatever you typed in the cell, until the entire cell is filled. For instance, if you typed two characters, then those two characters are repeated over the width of the cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2761) 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: Filling a Cell.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Better Ways to Insert Symbols

The traditional way to insert symbols into a document is to use the Symbol dialog box. This tip looks at ways other than ...

Discover More

Setting Subscript Depth in the Equation Editor

You can specify exactly where subscripts appear in your equations.

Discover More

Freezing Worksheet Tabs

If you have a lot of worksheets in a workbook, you may wonder if you can "freeze" the position of some of those worksheet ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing Cell Colors

If you need to change the color with which a particular cell is filled, the easier method is to use the Fill Color tool, ...

Discover More

Setting the Default Font Size for Comment Balloons

Straining your eyes to see the comments in a document? You can modify the size of the default font used for the comments, ...

Discover More

Changing Fonts in Multiple Workbooks

If you need to change fonts used in a lot of different workbooks, the task can be daunting, if you need to do it ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 9?

2019-06-10 10:37:52

PJEF

I cannot get this to work at all. I am using Excel on an iMac. In the "format cell" dialog box, there is no "Text Direction" choice, just the angle degrees that you want the text to run. AND when I select "fill", no matter what choice I select, it either does nothing or it clears the cell.


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.