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 October 21, 2014)

5

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

Custom Menu Stays, but Options Disappear

It can be disconcerting when a custom menu you've used for years suddenly loses all the options it previously contained. ...

Discover More

Opening a Document as Read-Only

Afraid of messing up an existing document by some changes you are considering? Consider opening the document as ...

Discover More

Combining and Formatting Times

Excel allows you to store times in your worksheets. If you have your times stored in one column and an AM/PM indicator in ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Turning Off Names

You can use some of the tools in Excel to convert cell references in formulas into names. Converting back (from names ...

Discover More

Displaying Negative Percentages in Red

Excel includes quite a few different formats you can use for the information in a worksheet. One format that isn't as ...

Discover More

Underlining Text in Cells

Want a quick way to add some underlines to your cell values? It's easy using the shortcuts provided in this tip.

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 9 + 2?

2015-04-24 08:15:18

gerdami

@Sabanna Bjerke:
Perhaps you could enable "" again:
Options, Advanced, Lotus compatibilty and check "Transition navigation keys".


2015-01-27 17:46:39

Sabanna Bjerke

The backslash () idea is from early dos versions of spreadsheets like Vis-a-calc. I've used it for a lot of years, but I found it wasn't working in my Office 2010.
The tip on this website to use the formatting options is greatly appreciated!


2012-12-10 09:05:48

phil hale

I searched far and wide and found the exact answer to my problem here - the people at microsoft are too smart for their own good.
Thank you


2012-03-26 04:33:06

Paul Whitaker

A quicker and easier way to fill a cell is to enter a backslash followed by the Text, as shown in the example below.

"Guess "


2012-03-23 13:45:38

Juan

How great tip, I am surprised!!


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.