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Getting FlashFill to work the way you need it to

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in Excel Training,Office Technology

Q. I can’t get FlashFill to work in Excel 2013. What am I doing wrong?

A. In Excel 2013, Flash Fill is a feature that detects how you separate out data from one column. For example, if your Column A has first names, last names, and some middle initials, and you want to extract just the last name, Flash Fill will do it. You must have at least four rows of data. At three rows, Excel will not recognize any patterns.

Type only the first item completely. Then, just type the first letter of the second one, then Tab. That should fill in the rest of the list. If you mess it up, de­­lete the whole column and start again. It doesn’t like to give you a second change after you’ve completely typed in the second entry.

With number en­­tries of less than three digits, the outcome seems unpredictable. There were other issues with number strings that seem to have been corrected in the automatic updates. Be sure your installation of Office is set to automatically update.

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