How To Use AutoFill on a Google Docs Spreadsheet [Quick Tips]

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By Lowell Heddings on April 28th, 2010

Have you ever wanted to fill an entire row or column with a series of values? If you’re an Excel user, you can do the same thing in Google Docs. If you haven’t used either, here’s the quick way to do it.

Just type in a couple of numbers in sequence… 1 2 3 works pretty well. You could also put them across a row instead of down a column.


Then move your mouse over the dot in the corner until the pointer changes, then just drag it downward (or if you are filling a row instead, you can drag it to the right).


Let go of the mouse, and your data will be automatically filled in.


You could also make it skip by 1 instead, like 2 4 6 8, etc…


If you want to get really fancy, you can use the tip from reader Andy in the comments below… fill in the cells with something else that would normally be in a set, like the days of the week, then drag the blue dot downward…


And you’ll get a full list of days.


The same thing works for other information, basically anything that can be powered with Google Sets, and you can force Google Spreadsheets to always use Google Sets for the information by holding down the Ctrl key.

For example, if you type in Ford, Honda, Toyota, and hold down the Ctrl key while dragging the dot down…


It all works the same way. Sadly there’s no really advanced options like Excel has, but for most uses, this is good enough. Also, we’re aware this is a very simple tip for most of you, but we’re trying to help the beginners out as well!

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/28/10
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