How to Save Time When Filling Data with Excel’s Flash Fill


Flash Fill is a convenient tool first introduced in the 2013 version of Excel. Its main advantage is that it eliminated the need for writing mathematic formulas and the manual work when filling databases of already imported information. Other time-consuming operations, which the tool can make easier are the formatting, the separation of dates, names, email addresses, and others.

All you need to do is show Excel a model of the data, based on an existing one, and it will forecast the rest. If the prediction is correct and you confirm it, the new data will be imported immediately.

Excel turns on Flash Fill by default. If the model you are using is more complicated and is not active, you can start it manually from the menu Data | Data Tools | Flash Fill.

Find Flash Fill from the tab Data in the menu

The tool is easy to use, convenient, and saves time. Add data in at least two cells from the column where you want to import data from another column. When you see the drop-down menu with predictions, check if it is correct. If it is, click Enter to fill the entire column.

Add data in at least two cells from the column where you want to import data from another column.

Examples of using Flash Fill:

Retrieving data

Retrieving data using Flash Fill

Merging data

Merging data using Flash Fill

Formatting phone numbers

Formatting phone numbers using Flash Fill

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