How to Automatically Number Rows in Excel 2010

When you are first creating a set of data in Microsoft Excel 2010, there is probably a lot of data entry that is occurring. While this is, by its’ very nature, a tedious activity, it can be made even more so if you are just typing slightly different values on each row. For example, “Product 1, Product 2, Product 3,” etc. Not only is this annoying, it can also lend itself to certain errors, depending upon your skills as a typist and the complexity of the word that you are repeatedly typing. Excel 2010 includes a feature called Autofill, however, which you can exploit to automatically number rows. By simply typing two values from your sequence, you can call upon Autofill to complete the sequence, no matter how many values you require.

 

Automatically Number Values in a Sequence in Excel 2010

 

This is the perfect solution if you are inputting sequential values that follow a pattern. Simply enter the number of values necessary to establish the pattern, then activate Autofill to complete the number of values you require. However, Autofill cannot read minds. If there is no discernible pattern or sequence in the set of values that you have highlighted, Excel will not be able to automatically complete your values.

Begin by opening the Excel file that you want to automatically number.

1. Enter the first and second values of your sequence into a column. If your sequence requires more than two values to establish itself, enter the number of necessary values.

enter the first two values in your sequence

 

2. Click on the top value, then drag your mouse to select the rest of the values that you just entered.

select both sequence values

 

3. Click the fill handle at the bottom-right corner of the cell. Your mouse pointer will switch to a + symbol when you have correctly positioned the mouse.

click the fill handle

 

4. Drag the selection box down until the preview box indicates the last number of the sequence that you want to create, then release the mouse button. For example, I want to populate cells in this column until the sequence displays the value Product 10.

how to automatically number rows in excel 2010

 

You can extend your sequence by simply clicking the last few values and repeating this process. If Excel cannot determine your sequence, it will simply start repeating your selection in the cells following your selection.