How to Create a Spreadsheet With Auto Fill Dates Across the Top

by Jackie Lohrey

A major benefit to using spreadsheet software is automation. While automated formulas, functions, and macros can make long and complicated calculations easier, automation features can help you save time when performing even simple everyday tasks, such as setting up a worksheet. One such feature is Auto Fill. Auto Fill is an automated data insertion feature that allows you to begin entering items such as dates across the top of a spreadsheet, and then you can let the spreadsheet software take over and complete the remaining entries.

Open a new worksheet. Place the mouse cursor in cell A1 and click to select it, and then type in the date "12/1/09."

Press the "Tab" key on your keyboard to move one cell to the right. In cell B1, type in the date "12/2/09." Click in any open cell to deselect cell B1.

Place the mouse cursor in cell A1 and drag so that both cell A1 and B1 are active. Position your cursor at the lower-right corner of cell B1 until it changes shape and appears as a cross. Hold the left mouse button and drag across the top of the spreadsheet. A "tip" box containing the date range will appear as you drag, allowing you to stop when you reach the desired end date.

Adjust the column width, if necessary, by placing the mouse cursor at the right side of the column heading and double-clicking.


  • check Dates do not have to be in sequential order to use the Auto Fill feature. For example, if your series starts with dates three days apart, Auto Fill will continue in that manner.
  • check The Auto Fill feature in most software programs works not only for dates, but also for days of the week, months, and number series entries. This feature also works to Auto Fill vertically as well.

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About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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