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The Old Switcharoo

Friday, March 16th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help

The Old “Switcharoo”

Okay, so, you’re in MS Excel and you’ve got a piece of data. You’re about to use the fill handle to get Excel to copy and paste the data down the column.

That’s a good idea and as we all know, just dragging the fill handle will copy the data item exactly into all the other cells. But, if we also hold down the Ctrl key while we use the fill handle, Excel will continue the data pattern.

At this point, I must ask: Have you tried this with dates, months or days of the week?

If you have, you’ve probably noticed that the rules have been switched. No, you’re not crazy! Excel doesn’t behave the same with this type of data as it does with numbers.

In fact, Excel behaves with the exact opposite behavior.

Simply using the fill handle will prompt Excel to fill the data by continuing the list.

So, if you want an exact copy, you’ve got to add the Ctrl key to your fill handle work.

Yep, that’s right. The fill handle works different for different types of data. Now, all you have to do is remember which one is which!

~ April

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