Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Troubleshooting Auto Fill Issues In Microsoft Excel

Excel program is a spreadsheet application that comes integrated with the Microsoft Office suite. Excel sheets are equipped with the auto fill function that enters data automatically into the cells when enabled. The Excel program provides the users with a number of pre-set series like months of the year, which will be entered automatically upon entering the first member of the series and selecting the auto fill function for the rest of the cells.

Users may also customize the data that is inputted by the auto fill function. Auto fill issues are caused most often due to formatting errors in the input files and due to incorrectly set preferences. This article discusses the basic trouble shooting steps that a user can adopt to get rid of the auto fill problems with Excel.


  • Open the Excel program and check the formulas in the sheet for formatting errors. Make sure that all the parentheses in the formula are the part of a matching pair. Also, ensure that all the non-alphabetic characters are enclosed in single quotation marks. Enter the numbers in your formula in unformatted way. For instance, enter "$1,000" as “1000” only. You can format the numbers in the cells at a later stage with the help of the Format menu.
  • Take care not to lose data in the cells while dragging the fill handle. You can do this by changing the preferences. To do this, click on the File tab, go to Excel and then select Options. Click on the Advanced tab and check the box labeled Alert before overwriting cells.
  • Set the calculations to Automatic. This will make sure that the formulas will recalculate automatically as you fill the cells. To do this, press on the File tab, go to Excel and select Options. From the Options list, select the Formulas category and under the Calculation Options tab, choose the setting that is labeled Workbook Calculation. For the formulas to recalculate automatically, click on the Automatic option.
  • Click on the File tab and select Excel. From there, select Options and disable the auto fill option. Choose the Advanced tab and uncheck the box named Enable AutoComplete for cell values.

These are the basic trouble shooting methods to get over the auto fill problems with Excel. If you are unable to overcome the errors even after following these steps, you can contact Microsoft support for further assistance.

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