As you painstakingly enter reams of data into Google Sheets, you’re going to start wondering how to autofill in Google Sheets. The good news? There are three easy ways to save you from mind-numbing data entry by autofiling your spreadsheets. 🙌
The most popular method is to use Google’s built-in features. Fill Handle and Smart Fill recognize patterns and autofill your sheets for you—but, they have some pretty serious limitations (and can be finicky to use). Keep reading to learn how to make autofill in Google Sheets much easier, plus learn how to use the free Magical Chrome extension to autofill data from other websites or tabs, as well.
Method 1. How to autofill in Google Sheets with Fill Handle
If you’re just looking to autofill Google Sheets with data you already have, this is what you need. Fill Handle is the small box in the bottom right-hand corner of cells on Google Sheets:
Dragging the Fill Handle box vertically or horizontally autofills Sheets based on set patterns that you’ve already started to fill out on the spreadsheet.
So, how do you autofill sequential numbers in Google Sheets this way?
You’ll first need to create the pattern by filling in a few entries manually. This helps Google Sheets understand what you’re up to before the autofill function kicks in correctly.
We’ll explore a couple of examples of autofill patterns in this section. But first, here’s how you should drag the box to start your autofill:
Now, let’s take a look at a few examples of how Fill Handle helps you speed up data entry.
1. Using Fill Handle on Google Sheets to autofill dates
Let’s take a look at how to use the Fill Handle to add dates. Let’s consider the month of September—the ninth month. The first and second dates (MM/DD/YY) are 09/01/2022 and 09/02/2022:
These two entries are enough for Google Sheets to understand our pattern.
So, we can drag Fill Handle:
And voila! Look at the results:
It’s that easy. If you’re looking to put together a big spreadsheet of dates that follow a set pattern, then the Fill Handle can deliver exactly what you need.
2. Using Fill Handle for days of the week
Need to fill a Google Sheet with consecutive days of the week? Fill Handle lets you build a whole calendar using Fill Handle—just start by entering the first two days:
Proceed to drag the Fill Handle as far to the right on the spreadsheet as you need:
When you let go, the end result should look like this:
As you can see, Fill Handle restarts the week after Sunday—as it should. This way, you can build a calendar. For example, let’s consider the year 2022. The first Monday of January 2022 was on the third day: 01/03/2022 (MM/DD/YY).
So, let’s start our calendar with the entries:
And proceed to drag:
Here, you can also see how to use the Fill Handle to autofill two rows simultaneously. In this case, the days of the week and the dates. Pretty fancy!
Method 2. How to autofill in Google Sheets with Smart Fill
If you’re experienced using Microsoft Excel, you might be familiar with Flash Fill. It’s a feature that recognizes patterns and fills in data accordingly. But is there a flash fill option in Google Sheets? Yes—Google launched Smart Fill as its own version of Flash Fill.
Smart Fill is more versatile than Fill Handle, because it picks up patterns as you work on sheets and helps you speed up data entry.
Smart Fill is enabled by default on Google Sheets. To activate it, just:
- Enter data on Google Sheets, and then,
- Press ⌘ + Shift + Y on Mac, or CTRL + Shift + Y on Windows/Chromebook.
To toggle Smart Fill on and off, go to Tools > Autocomplete, and check or uncheck “enable autocomplete” in the menu:
Another helpful feature of Smart Fill is that it’s not limited to pattern detection. Smart Fill can also use data from Google’s Knowledge Graph to enter data. For example, if you provide a list of cities, Smart Fill will detect their countries through the Knowledge Graph.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples to help you understand how Smart Fill works.
1. Separating first and last names
If you have a list of people’s full names, Smart Fill lets you create separate columns for their first and last names. This is useful if you create a spreadsheet to, say, personalize email outreach.
Manually separating the names can be a nightmare. Fortunately, Smart Fill can recognize the pattern after you separate just a couple of the names. Let’s start with a list of full names:
Now, let’s manually separate the first two names:
And there you have it—Smart Fill kicked in automatically. After accepting the suggestions, the “First Name” column gets filled:
Now, let’s place our cursor in the “Last Name” column:
Smart Fill kicked in again! It successfully populates the “Last Name column”:
This is a simple example of separating Google Sheets data using Smart Fill, and the same principles apply to more complex situations. For example, Smart Fill can be used to separate zip codes from a complete address.
2. Combining first and last names
Smart Fill doesn’t only help you separate data—it lets you combine it, too. Let’s take a look at a simple example where we need to combine two lists of first and last names:
Once we combine two names under the “Full Name” section, Smart Fill’s suggestion appears:
And accepting them fills the column in automatically:
Method 3. How to autofill Google Sheets with Magical
When you need to aggregate your data across different platforms, Google Sheets’ own autofill features don’t cut the mustard. You’ll still need to manually copy your external data and move it to Google Sheets, which is time-consuming and, well … pretty boring.
Here are some examples of when you might want to autofill Google Sheets with data from other sources:
- You’re a recruiter and you need to move candidate info into a sheet to analyze data.
- You’re a salesperson and you need to move company or individual data into a sheet.
- You’re looking for Airbnbs, a new house on Zillow, or a car on Autotrader and you want to compile an easy-to-review list in a Google Sheet.
This is where Magical will help. Magical is a super-simple but powerful Chrome extension that helps you collect and move data across different sites—without any APIs or integrations. No code whatsoever.
Here are a few examples of how you can use Magical to autofill info on Google Sheets:
1. Autofilling Google Sheets with prospect information
Let’s say you work on a sales team. You need to input different prospects’ details into Google Sheets from your various platforms.
All you need to do here is open the different tabs:
And let Magical take care of the rest:
Using Magical, sales teams have collectively saved more than 42 years of time! 🤯
2. Autofilling Google Sheets with listing details
Magical lets you teleport more than just people’s contact details. You can also use it to autofill Google Sheets with info from online databases, such as Airbnb listings or Amazon product listings. As an example, let’s see how to use Magical to scrape an Airbnb listing.
You just need to open the listing:
Activate Magical’s Airbnb listings transfer feature:
And use keyboard shortcuts to autofill your Google Sheets spreadsheet instantly:
You can also open multiple tabs for different Airbnb listings and pull data from all of them in one click using the “Transfer everything” button.
3. Autofilling Google Sheets with customer reviews
It’s important to stay on top of your reviews to understand how customers feel about your product, service, and brand. But when they’re spread across various platforms it’s not always easy to keep track. This may be one reason to create a Google Sheet full of reviews or collect them for quarterly customer success reporting up the chain.
With Magical, you can scrape your reviews and autofill Google Sheets with the data no problem. Magical works with all the major review sites—so you can scrape from G2, TrustPilot, Amazon, eBay, Capterra, and others.
For example, let’s say a small business wants to gather reviews from G2. To scrape them to a Google Sheet, you’d start by creating a Transfer:
And then, you’d choose “G2” as the source with “Sheets” as the destination:
The Magical app takes care of the rest:
What other Google Sheet autofill transfers can you do using Magical?
We’re adding new transfer options all the time, but here’s a taster of what you can autofill in Google Sheets using Magical right now:
- LinkedIn Profiles, Jobs, & Company to Google Sheets
- Indeed Jobs to Google Sheets
- GitHub to Google Sheets
- Realtor to Google Sheets
- Zillow to Google Sheets
- Monster Jobs to Google Sheets
- Crunchbase to Google Sheets
- Salesforce to Google Sheets
- Lever Candidates to Google Sheets
- Greenhouse People & Jobs to Google Sheets
- Redfin to Google Sheets
- G2 to Google Sheets
- Instagram & Facebook to Google Sheets
- Glassdoor Jobs & Overview to Google Sheets
- YouTube Videos & Pages to Google Sheets
- Twitter Profiles to Google Sheets
- Dice to Google Sheets
- Etsy to Google Sheets
- Yelp Business to Google Sheets
- Alibaba to Google Sheets
Not seeing the one you need? Ask us directly via Twitter—it’s probably in the pipeline.
Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for some quick answers? Here are some of the most common questions about autofilling Google Sheets, answered.
1. What is the fastest way to autofill Google Sheets with external data?
By using Magical—our free-to-download app lets you instantly collect data and automatically teleport into your Google Sheets spreadsheets. 🪄
2. What is the keyboard shortcut for Smart Fill on Windows/Chromebook?
It’s CTRL + Shift + Y.
3. What is the keyboard shortcut for Smart Fill on Mac?
It’s ⌘ + Shift + Y.
4. What is the keyboard shortcut for Autofill (Fill Handle) in Google Sheets?
The shortcuts for Autofill on Windows/Chromebook are:
- CTRL + R to autofill horizontally (right)
- CTRL + D to autofill vertically (down)
- CTRL + Enter to autofill what you’ve selected
If you’re a Mac user, replace CTRL with ⌘.