Flash Fill in Excel is a new feature that was introduced in Excel 2013.  One of the cool uses of Flash Fill is to fix incorrect formatting in your text automatically.

Ever had the scenario where your data is formatted differently?

Example: First names starting with lower case, last names all in upper case, middle initials in either cases…arghhhhhh!

Luckily we have Flash Fill which can automatically convert the entire data set into one consistent format.  See how below:



To demonstrate the power of Excel’s Flash Fill, we will start off with this table of data where we need to fix the inconsistent formatting:

Flash Fill - Fix Incorrect Formatting 01


STEP 1: Type Homer A Simpson as the first entry in the Full Name column.  

Flash Fill - Fix Incorrect Formatting 02


STEP 2: We want the rest of the Text to be formatted this way, so in the second entry, type Ian B Wright.

Notice that Excel did not auto-suggest to Flash Fill.  There are times that this happens.

Flash Fill - Fix Incorrect Formatting 03


Since Flash Fill did not start automatically when you are expecting for it to match your pattern, you can start it manually by highlighting the entire column you want it to fill.

Then click Data > Flash Fill (Another alternative is to press the Ctrl+E keyboard shortcut).

Flash Fill - Fix Incorrect Formatting 04

Flash Fill - troubleshoot


STEP 3: You now have your data auto populated using Flash Fill.  

What is very impressive is Excel was able to apply the same format pattern to the rest of the table without the use of a single formula! 

Adios…I mean, goodbye inconsistent formatting 🙂

Flash Fill - Fix Incorrect Formatting 05

Flash Fill - Fix Incorrect Formatting





If you like this Excel tip, please share itEmail this to someone


Pin on Pinterest


Share on Facebook


Tweet about this on Twitter


Share on LinkedIn


Share on Google+


Related Posts

What Microsoft Excel Version Do I Have? We know that Microsoft Excel has different features across different versions and there are several Excel version, like Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016! So whenever I use Microsoft Excel I want to know right away which Excel Version I am using.  And boy, do I get confuse...
Custom Date Formats in Excel Custom date formats in Excel allow you to display only certain parts of the date. Say you had a date of 18/02/1979, which coincides to be my birthday 🙂 You can use the Format Cells dialogue box to show only the number 18, the day that corresponds to that date (Sunday), the...
Split First & Last Name Using Text to Columns There are times when you receive a data set of employee full names in one column and you want to separate the full name into first name and surname in separate columns. One way is to use the Power Query method, which is great if you have lots of data that gets added each day, ...
Show The Percent of Column Total With Excel Pivot ... Excel Pivot Tables have a lot of useful calculations under the SHOW VALUES AS option and one that can help you a lot is the PERCENT OF COLUMN TOTAL calculation. This option will immediately calculate the percentages for you from a table filled with numbers such as sales data, ...