Microsoft Excel includes a lot of time saving tools and options to help you automate tasks and increase your productivity. Excel is capable of predictive logic to input and automatically fill cells based on your preceding entries. You can choose to populate cells with an automatic number in order, a series of odd or even numbers or a series of dates. Here’s the best way to add Autonumber in Excel with the least amount of work.

  1. Place the cursor at the cell where your series of numbers will begin.
  2. Enter the beginning number of your series in your current cell. For instance, if you will be numbering entries down a column, enter the number 1 in this cell.
    • You can press Enter and then arrow up once to return to this cell.
    • Alternatively, you can click the check mark icon in the formula bar to complete your entry and keep this cell selected.
  3. Hover your cursor over the bottom right corner of the cell. Your cursor should change to a cross-hair icon. This is the Fill Handle.
  4. Click and drag the Fill Handle downward a few cells for numbering rows. Drag it to the right for numbering columns. Release the mouse button. Your range will be highlighted in gray.
  5. Select the icon at the bottom right corner of your range for the Auto Fill Options dialog box.
  6. Choose the “Fill series” option from the list.
    • You can now drag your series further, if needed, while watching the tooltip to determine when you have reached the final number or entry in your series.