Re-entering data that’s already present in a spreadsheet can often be a frustrating exercise. Fortunately, Excel in Office 365 has a Flash Fill feature that can aid users by automatically filling in fields. It even gives you the ability to take a section of the data entered in a column of an excel table, type part of it over into another column, and fill a series.
All you have to do is enter enough data for Excel to recognize a pattern, and the rest will be taken care of.
Flash Fill automatically fills your data when it senses a pattern. However, if you’re on a Windows device, you may need to enable this feature before using it.
1.Click File > Options.
2.Click the Advanced in the left pane, and ensure that the Automatically Flash Fill box is checked.
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4.Close and restart Excel.
Start Flash Fill manually
If you know that Flash Fill is enabled, but still doesn’t work, then you can start it manually by clicking Data > Flash Fill or Home > Flash Fill. You can also press Ctrl+E on the keyboard.
Using Flash Fill
Let’s say column A contains first names, column B has last names, and you want to fill column C with first and last names combined. If you establish a pattern by typing the full name in column C, Excel’s Flash Fill feature will fill in the rest for you based on the pattern you provide.
1. Enter the full name in cell C2, and press ENTER.
2.Start typing the next full name in cell C3. Excel will sense the pattern you provide, and show you a preview of the rest of the column filled in with your combined text.
3.To accept the preview, press ENTER.
If Flash Fill doesn’t generate the preview, it might not be turned on. You can go to Data > Flash Fill to run it manually, or press Ctrl+E. To turn Flash Fill on, go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Editing Options > check the Automatically Flash Fill box.