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: AutoFilling from a Custom List.

AutoFilling from a Custom List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 31, 2014)

3

A great timesaver when entering data is to use Excel's AutoFill feature. To use the feature, enter enough cells that Excel can figure out how you want to fill the remaining cells in series. For instance, enter 1 and 2 into two cells, or 5 and 10 into two others, or Monday and Tuesday. Select the two cells and then click and drag the Fill handle at the bottom-right corner of the selection border.

As cool as AutoFill is, an even cooler timesaving feature is to define your own series of values that AutoFill can use. Follow these steps:

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Custom Lists tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Custom Lists tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Select NEW LIST in the Custom Lists list.
  5. In the List Entries portion of the dialog box, start typing the items in your fill series, in the order they should appear. For instance, you might type a list of department managers in alphabetic order. Press Enter at the end of each element.
  6. When you are done, click the Add button.
  7. Click OK to finish.

You can now use the custom list for the AutoFill feature. Simply type whatever entry from the custom list you want to start with, select the cell, and then drag the Fill handle. Excel fills the selected cells with the items from your custom list, in order.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3050) 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: AutoFilling from a Custom List.

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

Changing How Footnote References Appear

Footnote references normally appear as superscripted digits, both in the main body of your document and in the footnotes ...

Discover More

Deleting Graphics when Deleting a Row

If you use Excel to keep a graphic with each row of data you amass, you may wonder if there is a way to easily delete the ...

Discover More

Finding Long Sentences

For certain types of writing, you may want to make sure that the sentences in your document do not exceed a certain limit. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Making Revisions

You've turned on Highlight Changes, but how do you know what has been changed? This tip explains how Excel displays those ...

Discover More

Turning Off Track Changes without Unsharing

The Track Changes tool in Excel can be helpful, but it can also be aggravating because it doesn't allow you to use it on a ...

Discover More

Goal Seeking

Excel provides a great tool that is helpful in figuring out what certain variables should be in your formulas. 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 8Mpixels. 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 0 + 7?

2012-11-21 08:05:41

raghavanl

Please lt us know how to sort a data

by dropping of he duplicate items

Thanking You


2012-11-21 08:02:27

raghavanl

please favour us with a tip in the following situation

i have a data containing details of
of account no o customers in a serial order which are 30000 in number


the custom sort order is in a another
excel file containing more than 30000
items


how can we accomplish sorting as per any custom sort order found in a diferent file


2012-02-04 11:44:26

Dennis Taylor

You can also create a Custom list for sorting purposes. A list of employees containing departments might be more valuable if you could quickly sort it based on a hierarchical (not alphabetical) order. For example, create a custom list that starts with Office of the President, then HR, then Finance, etc. in an order that works best for you. You can then sort your data based on this list rather either of the A-Z or Z-A orders.


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.