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## MS Excel Tutorial – Creating Custom Lists To Auto Fill Rows And Columns

In Microsoft Excel, the ability to automatically fill columns or rows with the last and logical values in a range is very important. We can automatically fill in days of the week, months, or numbers in a row, all pre-programmed for our convenience.

All we have to do is enter the first two values and then drag the fill handle and Excel does all the rest of the hard work. The fill handle is the small dot or square below the active cell. Excel will automatically recognize the cell contents as part of a series of s and will automatically fill in the contents when clicked.

So, you may ask, are we limited to using the built-in lists that most graciously come with Excel?. No we are not.

We can add in our custom lists – of course anything we want – for example – employee names, class members, product codes that we use all the time. All we need to do is to program these as a custom list in Excel, then enter the first value of the list, drag the fill handle as normal and your data will be filled automatically.

There are two quick ways to create your own Excel list. Let’s work through an example using both methods.

The first method is to type in the list that you want Excel to automatically fill.

- File tab
- Options – the options dialog box will appear
- Advanced Tab- Advanced options appear in the right pane image
- Click Edit Custom Lists in the General section – The Custom Lists dialog box will appear
- Click inside List Entries and type your list items in the order you want them to be auto-populated. This is really important, write the name in
**exactly**order - So, in this example write down Apples, Oranges, Pears, Bananas
- Click OK twice to save your new entry

So, that’s the first method, let’s look at the second method that uses an already ordered list that you have in an Excel workbook.

- Open your workbook or navigate to the worksheet that contains your item list
- Repeat steps 1 to 4 in the above instructions
- Use the data selection dialog box to specify the range of cells to contain your list
- Hit Import
- Click OK

Your list will now be converted as you typed them, as in the first method described above.

Adding custom Excel lists will definitely save you time and help you work smarter and faster in Microsoft Excel.

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