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Excel has a variety of methods for entering times quickly and easily, dates and times. Keep in mind also, a well known shortcut, anytime you have a month in an entry, if you would like to have the next month, next month, next month, etcetera, drag the fill handle from the lower right- hand corner either downward or rightward, as the case may be, to get the next month, next month, next month. Rarely but occasionally, you might drag upward or leftward to go in the reverse direction. If it's an abbreviation that works well too. Jul, typically you'd probably start with January. You got to be a three-letter abbreviation though.
And of course, if you drag it farther than the end of the year, simply wraps around, works the same way with days or the week. Three letter abbreviations or full spellings. If you use all uppercase, you will get all upper case and so on. Pretty predictable and generally, this is down a column although it can certainly be a crossover as well. Those are all built-in, easy to get to. Now with date entries, sometimes you need to put in the current date. There are two ways to do this. One of the top ten shortcuts was Ctrl+ Semicolon. Just simply put in the current date. This is the date of the recording, do that at anytime, but sometimes you want to put in the date in such a way that it will always adjust and change. In other words we want this to be current, as of now, but if we open this file at a later time after we saved it, we want it to be accurate.
The function =today, and you need only type it with the left parenthesis press Enter, you will have the entry, puts in today's date. But it is different than having typed it or using the keystroke shortcut, because this will adjust over time and every time you will open this file, even if you don't change it, it changes and when you close the file, you get a prompt for saving even if you have made no other changes. That's always up-to-date, and it can be used in creative ways with other formulas too. For example, to calculate anniversary dates and birthdates.
Simply use the today function compared with another date. So it's a great feature for putting in dates. Sometimes you want to put in a date series. Now for example, we start with May 6, 5/6/11. If you drag from the corner, you will automatically get next day, next day, next day. If you want to get the same day repeated, and it might be just once or twice, hold down the Ctrl key as you drag. Be sure to let go with the mouse first. Now maybe we do want to change this whatever, but whenever you are dragging a date, if you hold down the Ctrl key it does not change.
If you don't hold down Ctrl, it simply gives you the next day, next day, and next day, and you can create a date series pretty efficiently too. I am not sure what day of the week this is, but if I want a seven day interval here, I might type in the 13th right here and then with both of these highlighted, because that interval was 7. If we drag from the corner, we are going to get every 7 days. So that's a series of Mondays or Fridays or whatever day of the week it happens to be. And of course, the interval might be five days. It might be 10 days. So when you put in two entries and then drag from the corner, you will get that number repeated.
And a reminder of the date system works until the year 10,000. So we are all pretty safe there. It goes all the way back to 1900. Now you can also create series in a different way, in a way that's perhaps unexpected. Suppose you do a mid-month report, down to 15th, and let's say you might start your list here beginning in January. You don't have to, but imagine maybe we did not have any data here. So we would like a month report. Maybe the heading will say mid-month report. Here is the date for January. We would have our data here perhaps, but I am about to drag with the right mouse button, pulling down the right mouse button dragging this as far as I think I need it, letting go, and there is the menu that always comes with the right mouse button, and we want to fill this with months, here we go, every month as far as we might drag this.
If the starting date here happens to be the last day of a month, for example January 31st, if we drag similarly here and fill months, we'll get the last day of every month. Same thing would have happened if we had started with April 30th or if we'd started with February 28th and sure enough, if we have dragged this far enough, we would get, and I didn't quite drag it far enough, but we will get as you will see here by filling months, February 29th, which is a leap year in 2012. So that works nicely and beautifully as well.
Last of all in this series, the one that I hear a lot about. People need this. I want a list here of our working days where you tabulate hours worked on project for example. So I am not sure what day of the week this is, but if we were to drag the fill handle with the right mouse button, we also have an option called Fill Weekdays, and you will notice gaps in here for example. That looks like it is a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, no Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and so on. Again, these are achieved by dragging with the right mouse button.
You can also create a yearly series here too. You probably saw that in the options,. drag this as far as you want, Fill Years, The same day every year. So, quite a few options with the right mouse button, and we saw some other techniques here too for quickly creating date series.
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