Unleash the pattern power with Excel Fill [quick tip]


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

milli-thumbWhen you are a “work from home” dad, you can see a lot of patterns. Here is one.

My kids come home from school by noon (they are too young for full day school). Right after lunch they watch their favorite cartoon program, Team Umizoomi, in which few fictional characters go about solving problems in the Umi city using maths. Milli, one of the characters is an expert with patterns. She solves problems by identifying patterns and unleashing pattern power. 

Here is a fun example of the pattern power. (It has Chef Gordan Ramsey too, which is sweet)


Team Umizoomi & Excel Fill – How do they link up?

Here is how they link up.

Imagine you have a workbook where you need to follow a pattern, like one of these:


You too can unleash the pattern power. What more… you needn’t break in to a song sequence every-time you unleash the power.

How to use Excel’s pattern fill?

pattern-fill-in-excel-demoHere is an example. Let’s say you want 2 different formulas & 1 blank cells in a sequence.

  1. Write the first formula in cell 1
  2. Second formula in cell 2
  3. Leave the 3rd cell blank
  4. Select all 3 cells
  5. Drag to fill

See the screencast aside to understand this concept.

Bonus tip: You can use this technique horizontally too.

Where to use this pattern power?

Here are few uses for pattern fills:

  • Dashboards & reports where you need to show some information but space it with blanks for readability
  • Apply different formatting to different rows / columns
  • Set conditional formatting only to every nth cell
  • Format (or write formulas for) weekdays & weekends differently

I use pattern power often when designing dashboards or complex reports.

What about you?

Do you use pattern power? Tell us in the comments where you would use them.

I must go now, I hear the umi alarm. Looks like the kids are back from school.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Share this tip with your colleagues

Welcome to Chandoo.org

Thank you so much for visiting. My aim is to make you awesome in Excel & Power BI. I do this by sharing videos, tips, examples and downloads on this website. There are more than 1,000 pages with all things Excel, Power BI, Dashboards & VBA here. Go ahead and spend few minutes to be AWESOME.

Read my storyFREE Excel tips book

Chandoo is an awesome teacher

– Jason

Excel formula list - 100+ examples and howto guide for you

100 Excel Formulas List

From simple to complex, there is a formula for every occasion. Check out the list now.

20 Excel Templates

Calendars, invoices, trackers and much more. All free, fun and fantastic.

Extract words from sentence using FILTERXML - formula tip

#awesome trick – Extract word by position using FILTERXML()

This is CRAZY!!!. I stumbled on a weird use for FILTERXML() while reading a forum post earlier today. So I couldn’t wait to test it. I am happy to share the results.

Say you have some text (sentence / phrase / keyword etc.) in a cell and you want to extract the nth word. Unfortunately Excel doesn’t have SPLIT() formula. So we end up writing obscenely long array formulas or use gazillion helper columns.

Here is the super sneaky trick. Use FILTERXML() instead.

3 Responses to “Unleash the pattern power with Excel Fill [quick tip]”

  1. Rahim says:

    =AweSUM() Excel Tip
    MIND = BLOWN 🙂

  2. Sally says:

    Wow - didn't know that. Will make things much easier for me.
    Thanks for sharing

  3. v b a problem
    one sheet
    da , salary, depament
    every depament salary da copy past one one sheet
    plz cod send me

Leave a Reply