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Get to know Excel: Enter formulas

Using the fill handle to copy a formula

Callout 1 Drag the black cross from the cell containing the formula to the cell where the formula will be copied, then release the fill handle.
Callout 2 Auto Fill Options button appears but requires no actions.

Sometimes it's easier to copy formulas than to create new ones. In this example, you'll see how to copy the January formula and use it to add up the February expenses.

You would select cell B7, which contains the January formula, then position the mouse pointer over the lower-right corner of the cell until the black cross (+) appears. Next, drag the fill handle Fill handle over cell C7. When the fill handle is released, the February total 126.93 appears in cell C7. The formula =SUM(C3:C6) is visible in the formula bar near the top of the worksheet whenever cell C7 is selected.

After the formula is copied, the Auto Fill Options button Button image appears to give you some formatting options. In this case you wouldn't need to do anything with the button options. The button disappears when you next make an entry in any cell.

Note     You can drag the fill handle to copy formulas only into cells that are next to each other, either horizontally or vertically.

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