What is and how to use flash fill in excel

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What is and how to use flash fill in excel
Excel Spreadsheets

When working in Excel, we often need to use the same data several times on the same worksheet. However, repeating, changing, and revising these data consumes a very large time of our day. To help us, Microsoft Office Excel 2013 has a feature called Lightning Fill. Very different from self-fulfillment, it makes a logical deduction and fills in according to need. Understand better and learn how to use this feature.

How to use lightning fill

To demonstrate this functionality, we will use a table with the following columns: last name, middle name, and principal name. The task we will need to do is fill in the last column, which should contain the full name. Here's how:

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

First, you must fill in the first cell. In this way Excel will understand the logic used for filling:

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

When you start typing the second cell, Microsoft Excel already suggests autofilling the other cells, based on the first cell's fill.

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

Press the key. Enter and the completion is done according to the suggestion. This is the lightning fill feature

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

Lightning fill for other data types

Lightning fill is a great resource to save your time and help in your daily tasks. It has more utilities than just helping you fill out a list of names. Simply recognize a pattern in the Excel data that it will suggest a fill for the other cells. Look at our example for phone numbers. We have a table where, in the first column, the phone number and ddd were entered without separating them.

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

Our goal is to edit this number to make it easier to identify what ddd is, and what the phone number is. Therefore, in the first cell, we enter the following number:

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

When you start filling out the second cell, it will display a popup suggestion:

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

Press the key. Enter to accept the lightning fill.

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

The phone list will automatically be filled and edited, a huge time of your day.

Another action in which lightning fill is very useful is in filling in dates. We now have a table with the birth date unformatted. In this case, since it contains more than 10 characters, you must fill in at least 3 cells so that excel understands the correct default. If fewer cells are inserted than recommended, there is a risk of the padding leading to erroneous data. Then fill in 3 or more cells. Now select the entire column for formatted dates:

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

In the Data tab, select the lightning fill option:

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

Soon, Microsoft Excel will understand the logic used to format the dates, and will do the correct filling. In this case, it is important to check the data as there are cases where it misses the fill.

What is and how to use flash fill in excel

There are numerous utilities of this new functionality available for the 2013 version of Microsoft Excel. In your daily life, you will be recognized more than one pattern in your work, and he will make suggestions that will help in his tasks.

Did you like the tip? Check out other great tips on our blog!

Excel Spreadsheets

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