Tuesday, March 11, 2008

[TIPS] A great Excel shortcut

Y' know, you know what you know. And, until someone else shows you another way to do something, you tend to continue to do it the way you learned it or were first taught. And, I'm not one to forget a really great shortcut, but if I EVER knew this little trick I had forgotten it - until a student in a Physics class yesterday stumbled upon it (or maybe he already knew it).
It's an Excel trick. Stay with me here...
You've got a column of names, say, next to a column of numbers and then you're trying to build a formula next to that column - one for each number in the list. So, you create the formula for the first cell. Then, you want to use the fill down feature to fill the formula down the column. Until yesterday I would have placed my cursor in the bottom right corner of the cell, and when it turned into the 'crosshairs' cursor I would have dragged it down through the column, thus executing the Fill-Down feature. Got it?
Well, yesterday as the physics teacher was showing the class how to do just that, this young guy said, "Just double click it." Huh? Double click WHAT? You double click on that bottom right corner with your crosshairs icon instead of dragging it. PRESTO! It fills down the entire column, stopping where it was supposed to.
Did YOU know that little trick? You didn't if you've learned your Excel from ME! :-)
This old dog learned a new trick. It was another good day. It COULD have been a really good day, but the physics teacher felt compelled to reveal to his class that I was his 5th grade music teacher! <sigh>


Scott Waldman said...


PDonaghy said...

Nice tip Jim, especially for those that have trouble clicking and dragging. Do you know it also works perfectly in openoffice calc as well :)