How to Add Names for Auto Fill in Excel

By Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Excel's Auto Fill feature will insert a pattern or list of text in a worksheet.
i Jason Reed/Photodisc/Getty Images

Microsoft Excel 2010 can create a list of text to insert on a worksheet. Add text, such as names, to a custom list to save time. For example, you can insert a saved list of employees' names in a new worksheet in seconds. Excel's Auto Fill feature will enter each name on an adjacent cell. A selected cell contains a Fill Handle you can drag across a row to create a horizontal list or up or down a column to create a vertical list.

Create Custom List for Auto Fill

Step 1

Open the Excel program. A worksheet appears.

Step 2

Click the "File" tab on the command ribbon. A list of commands appears.

Step 3

Click the "Options" link in the left pane. The Excel Options dialog window opens.

Step 4

Click the "Advanced" option in the left pane.

Step 5

Scroll down the right pane to the General section.

Step 6

Click the "Edit Custom Lists" button in the bottom of the General section. The Custom Lists " dialog window opens. Two text boxes appear in the Custom Lists tab sheet: Custom lists and List entries.

Step 7

Type a name in the List Entries text box.

Step 8

Press "Enter" after typing the first name.

Step 9

Continue typing the other names. Press "Enter" after each name.

Step 10

Click the "Add" button. This Add button appears to the right of the List entries text box. The list of names transfers to the Custom lists text box to the left.

Step 11

Click "OK." The Custom Lists dialog window closes.

Step 12

Click "OK." The Excel Options dialog window closes.

Apply Auto Fill Feature

Step 1

Click a worksheet cell.

Step 2

Type the first name in the cell.

Step 3

Click the cell that contains the name. The selected cell displays a black outline and a tiny black square in the lower-right corner. The tiny black square is the fill handle.

Step 4

Point the cursor on the square fill handle. The cursor changes to a "+" symbol.

Step 5

Click and drag this fill handle along the adjacent cells. The Auto Fill feature inserts a name in each cell.