How to Create Sequences in Excel

by Aramenta Waithe

One of the features of spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel is that they can save a great deal of repetitive typing. If you have a spreadsheet containing repetitive data such as days of the week or lists of names, you can use "AutoFill" to type a sequence one time and repeat it automatically. Click and drag the AutoFill square to automatically populate the cells of a spreadsheet with a sequence of data.

1

Click the first cell in the row or column that you want to contain the sequence and type the first item. For example, to create the sequence of "Red," "Green" and "Blue," type the word "Red." Press "Enter" to move to the next row or press the right arrow key to move to the next column.

2

Type the next item in the sequence, such as "Green." Press "Enter" or the right arrow key.

3

Type the next item in the sequence, such as "Blue." Repeat this process until you have typed every item in the sequence.

4

Click and drag with the mouse pointer to highlight the cells containing the complete sequence plus the additional first item. You should see a large black square in the lower-right corner of the box outlining the highlighted cells.

5

Click and drag the black square to auto-populate the blank cells below or to the right with the sequence that you have entered. As you drag the square, Excel displays a small pop-up message showing the data that it will put in each cell.

6

Release the mouse button to stop auto-populating the sequence.

Tip

  • check Excel works intelligently when auto-populating certain types of sequences. If you use days of the month, for example, Excel automatically rolls over to the next month when reaching the end of the current month.

About the Author

Aramenta Waithe has been a professional writer and ghostwriter since 1989. Her work has appeared in Florida's "Sun-Sentinel" and the "Miami Herald." She writes about a variety of subjects from home improvement to medicine. Waithe attended the University of Massachusetts and Florida Atlantic University, majoring in oceanographic engineering.