There are numerous tools in Microsoft Excel that can help you finish repetitive tasks faster. The flash fill feature in Excel is one such tool.
This article will assist you in learning the fundamentals and more complex concepts of the Excel flash fill functions so that you may effectively employ this tool in practical situations.
What is Flash Fill in Excel?
Excel may replicate any patterns it discovers during your data entry activity. A good match for the pattern eliminates the need for human data entry.
For instance, Excel will present you with the flash fill option if you are manually combining the first and last names from two columns and writing the full names in another column, provided the function is available.
As a result, when you have Excel to understand the pattern of data entry, it acts as a data tool that aids in data transformation, extraction, and combination. Only Excel 2013 and later versions support it.
How to find Flash Fill in Excel?
Every worksheet has the function activated by default. Excel can finish the remaining data entry in columns or rows if it recognizes a pattern when you:
- Open the fill handle further.
- Use the Data menu’s Flash Fill command.
- Just use the keyboard shortcut.
Different Methods of using Flash Fill in Excel
1. Automatic Flash Fill in Excel:
Every time you work on a repetitive task that Excel can complete quickly, a light grey suggestion box will appear across the entire column from where you started writing.
To accept the auto-fill recommendation, just press Enter. Only if the functionality is turned on in Excel’s Options menu will it function. Furthermore, the flash fill can only fill cells in a downward direction; it cannot fill cells in an upward way.
2. Flash Fill in Excel Command
If Excel doesn’t provide you with automatic flash fill ideas but you believe the data entering process has a pattern, attempt the following steps:
- The Excel ribbon menu’s Data tab should be selected.
- The Flash Fill feature is located in the Data Tools section.
- You can use a function if it is active or clickable.
- To have the column filled automatically, click Flash Fill.
3. Flash Fill Using the Fill Handle
When you click on a cell and move the pointer to the cell’s bottom right corner, a little + sign appears. The Fill Handle is that.
Simply click on the Fill Handle and drag the mouse downward to fill the column with the data you want if you believe your data fits a pattern.
You can use the shortcut Ctrl+E to instantly apply the function after typing one or two examples for Excel to follow in a flash-fill procedure.
You’ve read a thorough explanation of the Excel function known as flash fill, which looks for patterns in the data in your worksheet. You now have the ability to use it in the following circumstances:
- Getting the first and last names
- Create entire names from first and last name information.
- Get names’ initials
- Change the text’s case to uppercase or lowercase.
- Identify people in the data.