Excel: Flash Fill in Excel 2013

This page is an advertiser-supported excerpt of the book, Power Excel 2010-2013 from MrExcel - 567 Excel Mysteries Solved. If you like this topic, please consider buying the entire e-book.

Problem: I need to join text or break apart text in Excel 2013.

Strategy: Use the new Flash Fill feature. Say that you have First Name in column A, Last Name in column B. You want first initial, a period, and a last name in column C.

  1. You must type a heading in C1 first or Flash Fill will not work.
  2. Type the pattern in C2: M. Henderson.
  3. Type the first letter in C3. As soon as you type J, Flash Fill will draw the proposed data in grey.
  4. Press Enter to accept the flash fill.

  1. Flash Fill will save people hours of needless typing.

    Gotcha: Flash Fill provides a static solution. If column A later changes, column C won't update.