Flashfill and Autofill are all Microsoft Excel tools that can help Excel users fill data automatically. If you master how to use them, it can save you a lot of time. But there are a lot of differences between them. In this article, I will tell you how to use Excel Flash fill and autofill to fill data automatically and what is the difference between them.

### 1. How To Use Autofill To Fill Data In Excel Example.

#### 1.1 Autofill Numbers In Excel Cells Example.

- Open an Excel workbook, and input number
**1**in the first Excel cell**A1**in**Sheet1**. - Select Excel cell
**A1**, and**drag the small square on the bottom right corner**of Excel cell**A1**. - Your mouse pointer will be changed to a black cross icon, press and move the mouse pointer from
**A1**to the right side until cell**F1**. - When you release the mouse pointer, it will show the
**Auto Fill Options**square on the bottom right corner of the last Excel cell. - Click theÂ
**Auto Fill Options**square to show the options list. The options include**Copy Cells**,**Fill Series**,**Fill Formating Only**, and**Fill without Formating**.

- The
**Copy Cells**option will fill all the selected Excel cells with the first cell value. - The
**Fill Series**option will fill the series number (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) in cells**A1**to**F1**. - The
**Fill Formating Only**option will just format the Excel cells using cell**A1**‘s format. - The
**Fill Without Formating**option will fill the later cells using the first cell**A1**‘s value only. - If you input numbers
**1**, and**3**in cells**A1**, and**B1**and do the above operations, then Excel will input numbers**1,3,5,7,9,11**in Excel cells**A1 to F1**. - If you input number
**10**in cell**F1**, and do the above actions from right to left, then you will get the number series**5,6,7,8,9,10**in cells**A1, B1, C1, D1, E1**, and**F1**. - So the Excel autofill feature can guess your inputted number pattern and then input the related numbers in the selected cells.

#### 1.2 Autofill Dates In Excel Cells Example.

- Besides autofilling numbers, excel can also autofill dates in cells.
- Input date value
**1-Jan-22**in Excel cell**A1**, select cell**A1,**and press and move the black cross icon on cell**A1**‘s bottom right corner to cell**F1**. - Click theÂ
**Auto Fill Options**square on the bottom right corner of Excel cell**F1**, you can see the autofill options. - Besides the autofill options in section 1.1, there are some other options
**Fill Days**,**Fill Weeks**,**Fill Months**, and**Fill Years**. - You can click the above autofill options to see the changes, it will automatically fill the date value by changing the day, week, month, and year value.

### 2. How To Use Flash Fill To Fill Data In Excel Example.

- Flashfill is similar to autofill, but it is more powerful than autofill.
- Flashfill can be used to batch-combine other Excel cells’ values automatically.
- Flashfill can also be used to extract other Excel cells’ values using the first cell value pattern.

#### 2.1 How To Use Flash Fill To Combine Excel Cells Values Example.

- There are 3 columns in this example,
**First Name**(Jerry),**Last Name**(Zhao), and**Mailbox domain**(Gmail). - Columna
**A**is a list of the user’s first name, column**B**is a list of the user’s last name, and column**C**is a list of the user email’s domain. - Now we want to combine columns
**A**,**B**, and**C**‘s values to construct the user email address and input it in column**D**. - First, input
**[email protected]**in Excel cell**D1**. - Click the
**D**title to select column**D**, then click the**Data —> Flash Fill**item in the**Data Tools**group. - Then you will find Excel will fill all the column
**D**‘s cells with the value**[email protected]**.

#### 2.2 How To Use Flash Fill To Extract Excel Cell’s Value Example.

- In this example, column
**A**contains a list of the user’s SSNs such as**c**. - We want to extract the first 3 digits (
**296**) and the last 3 digits (**489**) from column**A**and construct a new number (**296—489**) and input it into column**B**. - Now we can use the Excel
**Flash Fill**tool to implement it. - Input the text
**296—489**in Excel cell**B1**. - Click column
**B**‘s title to select column**B**. - Click the
**Data —> Flash Fill**item in the ribbon, then you will find all the cells in column**B**will contain the extracted digits from column**A**using the**B1**cell’s format.