Excel Help Tip #3: Typing Less in Excel
There are two ways you can cut down on typing in Excel: using AutoCorrect or AutoFill.
AutoCorrect is applicable across all Office applications. In Excel, it’s under the Tools Menu – AutoCorrect.
What kinds of long strings do you have in your world that could be abbreviated into an AutoCorrect option? Now, you’ll want to be careful about what you choose. For example, you wouldn’t want to use “t h e” for Tom Harris Enterprises. Every time you typed “the” you’d get Tom Harris Enterprises. Don’t be afraid to attach symbols the way we did with the hyphen. And, a good rule to remember is: If you enter it in AutoCorrect as lower case, the case doesn’t matter. But if you type it upper case, only upper case works.
Next, let’s look at AutoFill. Many of you are already using AutoFill to drag formulas down a column. And, remember, if there’s data on the left, all you have to do is double-click. The way you know you are on the AutoFill handle is that your cursor changes from a white plus to a black plus.
Have you ever tried to type in a numbered list? All you get is a bunch of 1’s. If you are using version 2003 or 2007, all you have to do is click the little AutoFill Options box and select Fill Series. If you are using an older version and don’t see that AutoFill Options box after you click AutoFill, just type in the first two numbers in the series, like 1 and 2. Then select them both and use the AutoFill Handle on the second one and drag it down. This works for any type of number series. Let’s say you wanted a list of interest rates, like 6%, 6.5% on up to 10% by half percents. You would type in 6%, 6.5% and click and drag them.
One other AutoFill tip I want to share with you is the Custom List.
Take a few moments and jot down some ideas for using custom lists: department names, location names. One chemist I know used a four-character identifier for chemical combinations-you know how long some of those names can be. All he had to do is remember the four-character code. What else can you think of? How about team members’ names?