Flash Fill in Excel is a new feature that was introduced in Excel 2013.

It is very handy as Excel predicts the rest of your inputs based on the first entry that you have placed. Once its prediction is correct and you confirm it, it will fill the rest of the rows literally in a flash!

The cool thing with Excel’s Flash Fill is there is no need to use formulas and removes manual repetitiveness, saving you heaps of time in the process!

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ACTIVATE FLASH FILL: 

If the Flash Fill does not work automatically, you need to activate in from Excel’s back end by going to:

File > Options > Advanced > Automatically Flash Fill

flash-fill


 

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

Flash Fill 01

 

STEP 1: Type Homer as the first entry in the First Name

Flash Fill 02

 

STEP 2: In the second entry, once you type the first letter I for IanExcel will auto-suggest to Flash Fill the rest of the First Names.

Flash Fill 03

Just in case Flash Fill does not start automatically when you are expecting for it to match your pattern, you can start it manually by clicking Data > Flash Fill. Another alternative is to press Ctrl+E.

Flash Fill - troubleshoot

 

STEP 3: If the flash fill looks good, press Enter.

Flash Fill 04

 

STEP 4: Type Simpson as the first entry in the Last Name

Flash Fill 05

 

STEP 5: In the second entry, once you type the first letter W of WrightExcel will auto-suggest to Flash Fill the rest of the Last Names.

Flash Fill 06

 

STEP 6: If the flash fill looks good, press Enter. Your data is now complete without the use of a single formula!

Flash Fill 07

 

Flash Fill

 

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