Flash Fill in Excel

In 2013, Microsoft added a little known functionality called “Flash Fill.” This functionality allows you to quickly format items, based on the first one or two line items. Formatting numerous phone numbers or email addresses is no problem, but it works for any combination of items as well. Whether your data takes up two cells or twenty cells, as long as Excel understands what you are trying to do, it will format the data for your entire list, just as you want it. This is extremely handy when you are typing in data that is similar, over and over again. Cut your data entry time to nothing, without even having to use a function or formula! You are only limited by your imagination!

Take phone numbers from this: 3033334444, to this: (303) 333-4444, with very few key strokes, down through twenty line items or 10,000 line items. Emails based on a person’s first and last name, separated by a dot, and only a partial part of the company name? And your information is separated between three or four cells, spanning 56 rows? No problem! Take this:

To this: j.smith@csc.com in just seconds!

Check out the video below to see how Flash Fill works.

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