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Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

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Monday, 18 February 2013

How to make sequential numbers appear in Excel

1. How to make sequential numbers appear in Excel
2. How to get rid of R1C1 (row one column one) references and return it to cell E3 etc

I am using Microsoft Office (Professional Plus) 2010, at work.

1. How to make sequential numbers appear in Excel
I have often wondered how people manage to do this and today I found out - it's pretty easy. The instructions can be found from Microsoft's online help pages but I've added pretty pictures below.

Here's some nice music, from Patience and Prudence to accompany things (most recently used in an advert about flying on aeroplanes).

1. Type a couple of examples of the sequence of numbers you want - it seems to assume if you type 1 and then 2 that the next number in the sequence will be 3. I've not tried 2,4,6 but I assume it can handle that too.

2. Tell Excel where the source examples are for your number sequence, ie highlight the two cells with your numbers in them. The little white cross cursor doesn't show up when I took the screenshot but I managed to find one online and added it in myself.

3. Move the cursor so it's touching the highlighted cells and it will change to this black cross form (again it didn't show up in screenshot so I've had to add it in, thanks to this site).

Get ready to click and drag downwards...

4. The picture on the left shows what happens when you click and drag the cursor, and on the right it shows what happens when you let go - it fills up with numbers.

You can extend this by doing the same process on numbers 17 and 18 (in cells A18 and A19) to tell it what the sequence is going to be and then dragging further downwards.

2. How to get rid of R1C1 (row one column one) references and return it to cell E3 etc
File / Options / Formulas
De-tick R1C1 reference style, OK

Other search terms: how to make a line of numbers appear, how to make a column of numbers, how to number a list,

1 comment:

  1. A computer training person says "Excel is an advanced text editor, a database engine.Its pretty easy to make sequential numbers appear in excel.There is an auto fill option in MS excel in which you just have to give a number to that row or column and then use the drag option they will automatically be filled and your time will be saved." - which is exactly what I've said in the post above so not sure what this comment achieves other than a hope of getting a hyperlink to a commercial training website which, sadly, I've redacted.


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