December 6, 2017 |

Get the most from Excel’s AutoComplete

The AutoComplete feature anticipates the value you might be entering in a list by comparing it with previous entries in a column.  Let’s say I am typing a list and it looks something like this:


Because I had previously typed the word ‘oranges’, as if I started typing ‘oranges’ again (in fact as soon as I type the ‘o’), it will prompt me with the entire word. This is courtesy of the AutoComplete feature which recognizes input based on what  was typed previously.  If you wish to accept the entry simply press the Enter key.  If you don’t want the AutoComplete value being offered, just keep typing the new value. This feature’s only requirement is that the values be contiguous (e.g. one after another in the list, there cannot be any breaks/empty cells).

AutoComplete Tip 2.

Instead of allowing AutoComplete to finish a value, you can choose to be offered a pick list which is based on the previous values in a single column. Using the same example as above of fruit, you would simply go to the next empty cell and then hold down the ALT key and press the down cursor arrow.  This will display a pick list of values (items) based on what you have previously typed.


Simply click on the entry you would like to use and then press either the Tab or Enter key to move on and keep working.

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