Drag and Drop in Excel

Excellent Uses of Drag and Drop Option in Excel

Excel Drag and Drop are also known as “Fill Handle” is the PLUS (+) icon appears when we move mouse or cursor to the right bottom of the selected cell. Using this plus icon we can drag to the left, to the right, to the top and also to the bottom from the active cell. Also using this drag and drop option we can do many smart works in excel.

For example, look at the below image.

Drag and Drop in Excel 1

Examples to use Drag and Drop in Excel

You can download this Excel Drag and Drop Template here – Excel Drag and Drop Template

Example #1 – Copy the Current Cell Value to other Cells

For example, assume you have a certain value in the A1 cell.

Drag and Drop in Excel Example 1
  • Using drag and drop options now, we can fill the same value to besides cells as well. Place a cursor on to the right bottom of the cell.
Drag and Drop in Excel Example 1-1
  • Using this PLUS icon, drag to the right also down to fill the same value to all the dragged cells.
Drag and Drop in Excel Example 1-2
  • After drag and drop, we can see a small icon to the right bottom of the selected cells, click on this to see available options.
Drag and Drop in Excel Example 1-3

Here we have three options, “Copy Cells, Fill Formatting Only, and Fill without Formatting.” As of now, from the active cell, we have dragged and dropped to the range A1 to D5, and it has taken everything from the active cell (A1).

But using this option, we can fill only formatting, i.e., without value from an active cell, we can also fill without formatting, i.e., the only value from the active cell without any formatting.

  • Let’s see how it looks when we select “Fill Formatting Only.”
Drag and Drop in Excel Example 1-4
  • Now see “Fill without Formatting.”
Drag and Drop in Excel Example 1-5

Example #2 – Fill Serial Numbers

Using this Drag and Drop, we can also insert serial numbers. For this first, we need to enter at least two consecutive numbers.

Fill Serial Numbers Example 2

I have entered two consecutive serial numbers in cell A1 & A2. Now select these two cells and place a cursor to the right bottom of the cell to see the drag and drop symbol.

Fill Serial Numbers Example 2-1

Using this, drag and drop until the row number you want the serial number. In my case, I have dragged until row 10, so my serial numbers will be from 1 to 10.

Fill Serial Numbers Example 2-2
How does this Work?

The first thing we did was we had entered two consecutive serial numbers, i.e., 1 & 2. Using this sample, excel identifies the increment number from one cell to another cell; in this case, the increment number is by 1, so every time we drag the value to the next new cell, it will increment the value by 1. Since I have dragged until the 10th row, it has incremented the value by 10 times from the first cell value, i.e., 1.

For example, look at the below image now.

Fill Serial Numbers Example 2-3

I have entered 1 & 3 in the first two cells; now I will drag and drop until the 10th row and see what happens.

Fill Serial Numbers Example 2-4

This we didn’t get consecutive serial numbers; instead, we got all the odd numbers from 1 to 19. This is because, in the first two cells, our values are 1 & 3, i.e., from the first cell to the second cell, value is incremented by 2, so when we use drag and drop, excel identifies the pattern as it has to increment by 2 every time it goes to the new cell.

Example #3 – Insert Serial Numbers Without Pattern

We can also insert serial numbers without entering two consecutive numbers, just enter 1 in any of the cells.

Drag and Drop in Excel Example 3

Now drag and drop until the 10th row.

Drag and Drop in Excel Example 3-1

Now click on the “Auto Fill Options” box.

Drag and Drop in Excel Example 3-2

From this, choose the “Fill Series” option to get serial numbers that are incremented by 1.

Drag and Drop in Excel Example 3-3

So, we got serial numbers which are incremented by 1.

Example #4 – Fill to All Below Cell Once

Using Drag & Drop option, we can fill the formula from one cell to all the below cells. For example, look at the below image.

Example 4
Example 4-1
  • We usually copy the formula from one cell and paste it to below cells but this time, place a cursor to the right bottom of the formula cell, i.e., D2 cell.
Example 4-2
  • When you see the Drag & Drop option, just double click to apply the formula to the below cells.
Example 4-3

Things to Remember

This has been a guide to Drag and Drop in Excel. Here we learn some excellent uses of the excel Drag and Drop option, also known as “Fill Handle,” along with some practical examples and a downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

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