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Excel 2011 makes it easy for you to enter your data. In most cases, you can click a cell, type the value you want, and press Return. There will be times, however, when you need to enter a lot of data by hand. For example, if you track sales by month, you might need to enter a long string of month names by hand. In Excel you can streamline that process by using Auto Fill. In this movie I'll show you how to enter data quickly and efficiently using several methods. The most basic way to enter data into a worksheet is to click the cell and start typing. So let's say in cell A1 I want to type the value Monthly Sales.
Type in Monthly space Sales, press Return, and there is the value. But let's suppose that I am entering a value or editing a cell and I decide that I don't want to keep my edits. For example, if I click cell A6 and I want to type in February, but instead I start typing January and I see that it's there, I can press the Escape key, and that removes my edits from the cell. Now let's say that I had February in that cell, which I just entered using the standard type and Return method. If I start editing that cell, so, for example, changing it to January and then I realize that's incorrect, if I press the Escape key, my changes are taken away.
Now I am going to delete the value from cell A6, just pressing the Delete key. I will show you how to use Auto Complete to enter values that already exist in your column. So, for example, in column A, I already have the word January. If I want to enter the word January again, I can just start typing J-a-n, and Excel recognizes that these characters starts a value that already exists within the column, and it gives you an Auto Complete entry here, which offers to complete it. To use that entry, you can either click it, like I did here, or if you prefer not to take your hands off the keyboard, you can press the down arrow key and then press either the Tab key to select the cell on right after you're done, or press the Return key to move down.
I will show you how to control Auto Complete, and its related function, Auto Correct, in another movie. Now let's say that you had values in a series, for example, months: January, February and so on. How do you enter those quickly? Well, you can use what's called Auto Fill. I will just delete these two cells values, and I will select cell A5. And then I am going to move the mouse pointer over the lower-right corner of the cell. I will do it again. See, right now the cell is of white cross, and you can see a blue box at the bottom right-hand corner.
When you move the mouse pointer over the lower right-hand corner, which is called the fill handle, the mouse pointer changes to a black cross instead of white. Now if you hold down the left mouse button and drag, Excel will extend the series: January, February, March, April and so on, and I will pull it down all the way to December. So now if I were to let go, I would have the months January through December in cells A5 through A16. If I were to continue, it would wrap back around to January, so January, February, and so on.
So you can keep repeating the cycle. But in this case, I will just do January through December, and when I release the left mouse button, Excel has extended the series. Let's do the same thing with years, and you will see that Auto Fill doesn't always work exactly the same way, depending upon the values that you have. So in this case for the year, I will type 2008 and then select the cell, grab the fill handle - again, the mouse pointer changes to a black cross - and drag it to the side, but this time because it's a number, it repeats it; so instead of 2008, 2009, 2010, it's repeating the value, 2008.
If you want to increment the serious or in other words, if you want to extend the values the same way that we had January, February, and March, you can hold down the Option key while you're dragging. When you do, the mouse pointer changes to a black cross with a little black cross in the top right-hand corner, and you will see that the value is 2010. So if I were to go back to the original cell, we have 2008, 2009, 2010. If I would release the Option button, it would be 2008, 2008, but now it's 2008, 2009 and 2010.
When I release the left mouse button, the series has been inserted into your worksheet. That is a very handy way to enter values. So remember, you can click the fill handle to drag a series. If you want to change how the series is being extended, either to repeat values or to increase values, then you can hold down the Option key. Entering data into a worksheet is never fun, but using the techniques I have shown in this movie will help you enter large data series quickly.
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