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Microsoft KB Archive/173268

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 173268

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q173268


In Microsoft Excel 97, if you use the AutoFill feature to create a series based on data in two adjacent cells, the data that AutoFill creates may not be incremented correctly.


The AutoFill feature may not increment the filled data correctly if all of the following conditions are true:

  • The cells that contain the data are formatted as text. -and-

  • The data contains all numeric characters. -and-

  • The data contains 11 or more characters.


To have AutoFill correctly create a series based on two adjacent cells, follow these steps:

  1. Select the first cell in which you entered data.
  2. On the Format menu, click Cells.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, click General on the Number tab and then click OK.
  4. Press F2 and then press ENTER. This changes the value in the cell to a number format.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the second cell in which you entered data.
  6. Select the two cells and drag the fill handle to create the series. To fill in increasing order, drag down or to the right. To fill in decreasing order, drag up or to the left.
  7. If you want to reformat the cells as text, click Cells on the Format menu, click Text on the Number tab and then click OK.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.


By dragging the fill handle of a cell, you can copy that cell to other cells in the same row or column. If the cell contains a number, date, or time period that Excel can extend in a series, the values are incremented instead of copied. To specify the type of series, press the right mouse button (right-click) as you drag the fill handle over the range. Release the mouse button, and then click the appropriate command on the shortcut menu.


For more information about AutoFill, click the Index tab in Microsoft Excel Help, type the following text:


and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Automatically fill in data based on adjacent cells" topic.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbbug KB173268