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When entering data into a table in Numbers '09, you can save a lot of time using the Auto-fill feature. With Auto- filling you can use the content in one or more cells to automatically add values to adjacent cells. So let's use our Energy Savings Plan spreadsheet here to investigate the different ways to do this. In our List of Energy Savers table here, we have a single total showing up in the Total column. Let's click to select that cell. Notice it's column E and we are in the second row. The formula appears on the Formula Bar. Now, we could type in this formula for every other row in this column or we could save a lot of time using Auto-fill.
One way to use Auto-fill is to select all of the cells ahead of time. You can click and drag from the bottom cell to the top or from the top down. Once you have got your cell selected, click Insert, move down to Fill and here you will have two options, to Fill Down or Up. Fill Down is going take the top value and fill the other cells down bellow with that same formula. Fill Up would take anything in the last cell of the bottom and replace all of the previous cells with that content. In this case, we want to Fill Down. When you click Fill Down you will notice that the formula is actually copied down to the remaining cells and it's automatically updated to use the values in that row. This is known as relative addressing.
Now, Auto-fill is also good at picking up patterns including numeric patterns. Let's say we want to use the first column here to number each of the rows in our table. So we could click first in cell A2 and type in 1. With a numeric pattern you need to have at least two cells, so I'll press Return and type in 2. Now we could press Return and continue with the remaining rows or we can use Auto-fill. Let's select cells A2 and A3 with both of those selected now, Numbers is picking up the pattern, the increment is 1.
Another way to use Auto-fill is to use the Auto-fill Handle that appears in the bottom right corner of selected cells. When you see the + sign appear, you are safe to click and drag down and you will notice automatically each of the cells is incremented by 1, Numbers '09 is picked up the pattern. Now when we deselect our table, we can see the row numbers as we have entered them in that first column. Let's explore some other options. This time though we'll use our Utility Costs sheet and we'll go to the Utility Costs by Month table.
Here, in the top row we don't see any labels. As I mentioned Numbers '09 is good at picking up patterns with Auto-fill, so let's click the cell, which is actually in column B, row 1. Let's type in Monday, using the Auto- fill Handle we only need to enter data in a single cell when using text, let's drag across and notice that it's automatically filling in the days of the week for us. That's not really what we want, so let's move all the way back, still holding down our mouse button and release at cell B1. Let's type in January. Now when we use our Auto-fill Handle to drag across the top row, you can see each of the months in the year is filling in those cells. We could also use short forms, such as Jan, Feb, and Mar and Auto-fill will definitely pick up those patterns as well.
Let's deselect our table by clicking anywhere on the canvas. Well, as you continue to experiment with Auto- filling, keep in mind this feature does not setup an ongoing relationship among the cells in the group. So after using Auto-fill you can change the cells independently of each other.
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