Using the Fill Handle to Copy Formulas and Formatting
A quick way of copying formulas in Excel is to use the Fill Handle.
In addition to copying formulas and data, the fill handle will also copy formatting. This means that it can mess up existing formats in cells that formulas are being copied to.
A common example of this is overwriting shading that has been applied to alternate rows in the worksheet.
To prevent the Fill Handle from overwriting existing formatting, use Fill without Formatting found in the Auto Fill Options drop down menu.
For help with these instructions, see the image above.
- Click on cell E8 to make it the active cell.
- Place the mouse pointer over the black square in the bottom right corner. The pointer will change to a plus sign " + ".
- Click the left mouse button and drag the fill handle down to cell E12.
- Release the mouse button. Cells E9 to E12 should contain the results of the Net Salary formula and the background shading in cells E9 and E11 should be gone.
- When you release the fill handle the Auto Fill Options drop down menu should also appear below cell E12.
- Click on the down arrow in the menu to open it.
- Click on the third option Fill without Formatting to select it.
- The background shading in cells E9 and E11 should reappear.
If you have followed all the steps in this tutorial your worksheet should now resemble the image seen in step 1 of this tutorial.
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