New subscriber Patrick wrote for help with a Microsoft Excel problem:
I’m wondering if you can help me with a mouse problem I have. In Excel, I want to have dates going across horizontally in the mmm-yy format (Jan-08, Feb-08, etc).
I have inputted Jan-08 in a cell, and I have tried clicking on the bottom corner of the cell and drag it across (in order to auto-fill and extend the series ie: Feb-08, Mar-08, etc). My problem is that when I move the mouse across with the left mouse button still held down, it doesn’t work (ie no auto-fill).
Another problem I have in Excel is when I click on a cell, it some times comes up as if I double clicked on it (the cursor appears inside the cell for you to input data). Is there a problem with my mouse or my mouse settings?
I have gone into control panel/printers and other hardware/mouse, and have looked at all the menu tabs (mouse properties) but did not see anything that would cause this. I am running on Windows XP, using Logitech wireless keyboard and wireless mouse.
Patrick didn’t quite give me enough information, so I had to gues that his Excel versison was Excel 2003, since he was running Windows XP. Of course, he could have been running Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2007 insead of Excel 2003.
The fix for Patrick’s problem is on Excel’s AutoFill menu, which is hidden.
With the left mouse button, grab the handle at the bottom right-hand corner of the cell that has the value that you want Excel tto treat as the initial value in the series.and drag it.
The "handle" for the cell shows when you select a single cell or block of cells. The bottom right-hand corner of the selected cell or area has a small box instead of a corner — that’s the handle.
Before letting go of the left mouse button, drag it sligtly down towards the bottom of the screen.
Excel will display the AutoFill menu, as shown in the image below:
The key is to make sure that "Fill Series" is picked.
Patrick wrote back to say:
Thanks, that solved the problem.