Excel Training: Autofill

The autofill is a commonly used action when working with Excel. It saves precious time by avoiding repeating many operations.

An increment is a value that is added at each repetition... In the case of a cell copy, it means that each new cell will take the value of the previous one + the increment (for example for numbering).

Copying numbers

Enter the number 1 in cell A1 and copy this cell to line 7:

excel autofill

In this case, the number 1 is simply copied:

excel autofill 1

To get a numbering, enter the number 2 in cell A2, select the 2 cells and copy to line 7:

excel autofill numbering

This time the increment has been specified, so the value is increased by 1 at each copy:

excel autofill numbering sequence

Now enter the values 0 and 5 (instead of 1 and 2) and copy:

excel autofill 5

In this case, each new copied cell is equal to the previous one + 5:

excel autofill 5 copy

Note that after copying cells, you can change the copy mode if necessary (for example, to not increment anything):

excel autofill without incrementing

Copying dates

If a single cell containing a date is copied:

excel autofill date

An increment of 1 day is automatically applied by Excel:

excel autofill date 1 day

To modify the increment (for example, 1 month), enter the second date just below and copy the 2 cells:

excel autofill date month

This time it is indeed the month that has been incremented:

excel autofill date 1 month

Other examples of copying

It is also possible to perform an autofill with other data such as days and months in text format, hours and textual values containing numbers:

excel autofill examples

To get:

excel autofill day month hour text

A different increment will this time be defined for each of these values:

excel autofill day month hour text defined

The data has been copied while respecting the defined increment (including "7/1/2023" and "Text 7" with their negative increment):

excel autofill other types

Copying with formatting

Note that when you copy cells containing formatting:

excel autofill format

The formatting is also copied with the cells:

excel autofill formatting copied


It is now time to put into practice everything that has been seen so far...

Download the following file: exercise-3.xlsx

The first sheet of the downloaded workbook will look like this:

excel exercise autofill

The aim of this exercise is to use the knowledge learned during these first lessons to create the following schedule (trying to get as close as possible to this result):

excel schedule table exercise png autofill

Note: to display the 30 days of the schedule, enter the date of 1/4/2024 in cell B3, modify the date format to obtain the desired display, change the text orientation and copy the date to the right.