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Creating a Data Series

Excel allows you to create series out of numbers, dates, and custom lists. This feature can save a lot of time if you know how to apply it. Look at the example in Figure 3.7. By starting a series of months, you can have Excel finish the series for you by activating the cell, pointing to the fill handle in the lower-right corner of the cell (which changes your mouse symbol into a black cross), and then dragging in any of the four directions. The ScreenTip tells you what month you're currently at.

Figure 3.7 Use the ScreenTip to view the current date or month you're creating.

When you let go of the handle, the fill series is copied in the range of cells with Excels new AutoFill Option button (see Figure 3.8). This icon appears when you let go of a copied cell. You can then apply another type of copy after the fact.

Figure 3.8 After you let go of the series, the Auto Fill options appear. Place your cursor over the indicator and click to access the drop-down menu items.

By placing your cursor over the AutoFill Options indicator, a drop-down arrow appears. Select the drop-down list to access the menu and then select an additional option to change or modify the fill type.

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