If you're new to spreadsheets, or want to make sure you're working as efficiently as possible, this post is for you.
Whenever you have a lot of similar entries to make, think drag.
Here's an example.
You've got these budget figures for 2006. The 2007 budget figures are going to be 15% more.
So you create a formula for cell C2 multiplying B2 by 1.15 to get the correct figure for C2.
There's the result, and it's correct.
But it can get really tiring, and you can potentially introduce errors, by retyping formulas like this for every additional cell. You could type the same formula, with the reference to B3, B4, B5, etc. but that would be a lot of work and not efficient.
So instead, do this. Click on the cell where you already have the correct formula, and find the tiny handle in the lower right corner. Click and hold down your mouse on that handle, and drag down through all the cells where you want that same formula.
Here's what it looks like when you're dragging, before you release the mouse.
And here's what it looks like when you release the mouse.
All the formulas and results are correct, as you can see by clicking in one of the cells.
You Can Drag Things Other Than Formulas
You can drag words like the days of the week and months.
You can drag numbers.
You can set up a specific increment, like 1 1 or 1 3 5 or whatever you want, then select all the cells in the pattern and drag, then release.
Set up the pattern
then drag and release.
If you drag a word that the system doesn't recognize, then you just get a bunch of those words, which might be what you want in some circumstances.
So whenever you want to repeat something, or increment a number or standard value like a month or day, Think Drag.