Software

Use Excel's Autofill to generate a series of dates

Isn't it frustrating to do a task manually in Microsoft Excel when you know there must be a faster and easier method for accomplishing your goal? One Excel feature that will save you time is Autofill, which can generate a series of dates for your worksheets.

Microsoft Excel 2002 and 2003's Smart Tag feature makes it easy to insert a series of dates into a worksheet. For example, suppose you want to keep track of the total daily donations that come into your organization during the work week. You can generate a series of dates that includes weekdays only by following these steps:

  1. Enter the beginning date of 10/3/05 in Cell B3.
  2. Drag B3's Fill handle while pressing the right mouse button to B50.
  3. Click the Smart Tag and select Fill Weekdays.

You can also use Autofill to generate a series of dates for entering total donations on a monthly basis—just choose Fill Months after clicking the Smart Tag.

To track donations on a weekly basis, say every Friday, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the date of the first Friday of the month (e.g., 10/7/05) into cell B3.
  2. Enter the formula =B3+7 into B4.
  3. Drag B4's Fill handle down to B50.

You'll be amazed by how much time (and work) Autofill will save you over the course of a month.

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