Adding the same value or value in increments of some numbers for the rest of the rows manually takes more time. Google Sheets has a feature to automate that task. Here’s how to autofill in Google Sheets in different ways.
Autofill, fill down, create a list or series, or any related term usually means the same thing: to populate other cells with the same pattern of a number, letter, formula, date, or anything from the cell you want to start autofill from.
Suppose you want to complete a series of 10 numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, and so on) in the spreadsheet (vertically or horizontally). You can manually write the numbers from one to ten, but it takes a lot of time if you want, says, to complete hundreds or thousands of numbers.
Other than numbers, you can also autofill letters, date, month, year, formula, and more by doing the same method. The pattern can be almost anything. You can add increments by any number. For example, increments by two months (January, March, May, etc).
Practically, all you have to do to autofill is by selecting a cell (or cells) that indicates a specific pattern of increment, dragging the small rectangle icon at the bottom of the cell until it highlights the last cell you want to autofill to.
But, this process might be confusing for some people. Don’t worry, this is the complete guide to autofill in Google Sheets.
How to autofill in Google Sheets (the basic method)
Using the autofill feature is easy. Simply open the Google Sheets spreadsheet and prepare the first cell you want to autofill from. It can be one cell or multiple cells. But to reduce confusion, let’s start with only one.
So, here’s the cell example. It’s a number, and I will autofill the rest of the cells below it with the same number.
You can autofill the same number by selecting just one of them, hover your cursor to the small rectangle on the edge of the cell until it shows a plus icon, click and drag to the bottom/top until it highlights the last cell you want to autofill to, and finally drop the click.
This is the result. You can apply the same method to anything.
If you want to save more time, you can also select multiple cells in the same rows to autofill. It will result in the same value, text, or number as before.
This is the result.
How to autofill with increment by some numbers in Google Sheets sequentially
If you don’t want to autofill resulting in the same number or value as before and want to autofill with increment, let’s say, by one from number one. For example, that would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.
To do this, write the number one in the first cell and two in the second cell. Then, select those cells until you see the small rectangle icon at the edge of the last cell. Hover your cursor on it.
Click, drag, and drop until the last cell you want. It will result in numbers sequentially with increments by one.
You can apply the same method for letters, or combinations of letters and numbers. Simply type them sequentially, select both, and autofill by dragging it to the bottom.
This is the result.
How to autofill dates in Google Sheets sequentially with increments
If you’ve read the previous methods, those methods can be applied for dates, months, or years the same way. This example will add months with increments by one for the rest of the cells.
To do that, simply type the month and year sequentially for two cells. This example contains July 2020 and August 2020. Select both cells, click the small rectangle icon on the edge, and drag it to the bottom.
You’d see the months in the rest of the cells sequentially. It continues with September 2020, October 2020, and so on.
You can also add months with increments by two. Instead of adding one month, it would add two months for the next cell at the bottom. Simply write July 2020 in the first cell and September 2020 in the second. Drag it down.
It would add months by two. You can add months by three, four, and so on by using a similar method. Only change the second cell that indicates how many months you want to add by from the first cell.
How to autofill a formula in Google Sheets
You can autofill a formula in Google Sheets so that the rest of the cells would contain different values that are calculated with the same formula.
This example contains the first cell that is resulted from B2 multiplied by D2. You can do the same formula for the next row for that cell by simply dragging it down just like the previous method.
The result will be like this.
You can see the last cell’s formula is just like the first one. But, what if you want to autofill by keeping some cell references?
This example contains a formula with D2 as my last cell’s reference that I want to keep for the rest of the cells below and not just E2. The two dollar signs will make B2, B3, and the rest of the cells multiply by D2 and the result will be placed in E2, E3, E4, and so on while I autofill it.
One is placed before the D, and the second is placed before the 2. This will allow you to autofill a formula by multiplying D2 by B2, D2 by B3, D2 by B4, and so on. All I need to do now is dragging it to the bottom to autofill it.
The result would be like this. You can do this method for another or any cell’s reference in the same formula.
You can see the last cell’s formula is its row’s quantity (B11) multiplied by D2 from the top row.
How to autofill horizontally in Google Sheets
You can also autofill horizontally from the left to the right or vice versa, instead of from the top to the bottom. You can do that by the same method, but instead of dragging it down, you’re going to drag it to the right.
The result will be like this. This is great for transposed spreadsheets.
Google Sheets has simple features you can use easily just like Excel, including autofill by dragging the corner of the cell to the bottom or the right, depends on where you want to autofill.
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Dony Prasetiyo has been writing on monkeymanifesto.com for about two years, intended to help solve computer and smartphone problems with easy-to-understand blog posts. He has written over 480 blog posts about Windows, Office, Android, and more.