# How to auto-number cells in Excel

You can watch a video tutorial here.

Excel has many tools and shortcuts that can be used to automate repetitive tasks or tasks that span a large number of rows and columns. One such task is numbering cells in a column or row. Not only is this a time-consuming task if done by typing the number in each cell, but the possibility of errors is high. Here we will look at different ways of auto-numbering the cells in Excel:

- Fill handle: this uses the fill tool from the cells
- Fill menu option: this uses the fill tool from the ribbon
- ROW() function: this returns the row number of the cell reference
- Syntax: ROW(cell reference)
- cell reference: the reference of the cell for which you want the row number. If this is left blank, it takes the row number of the cell it is in

- Syntax: ROW(cell reference)
- SEQUENCE() function: this generates a matrix of numbers according
- Syntax: SEQUENCE(rows, columns, start, step)
- rows: the number of rows in the matrix
- columns: the number of columns in the matrix
- start: the start number
- step: the number by which each number should increment

- Syntax: SEQUENCE(rows, columns, start, step)

*Note: These same methods can be used to generate numbers across rows.*

## Option 1 – Use the fill handle

### Step 1 – Type the numbers

- In the first two rows of the column where the series is to be filled, type the first two numbers of the sequence i.e. 1,2

### Step 2 – Use the fill handle

- Select the rows and use the fill handle at the lower right corner of the second cell to drag the box down
- The sequence of numbers being generated will be displayed as you drag the handle down
- Release the handle when you reach the last number

## Option 2 – Use the fill menu option

### Step 1 – Type the first number

- In the first row of the column in which the numbers are to be filled, type the first number i.e. 1

### Step 2 – Open the **Series** box

- Select the column where the series is to be filled
- Go to
**Home > Editing**and click the**Fill**button - Select
**Series**from the drop-down menu

### Step 3 – Set the parameters

- In the
**Series**box, set the following:**Series in**: Columns**Type**: Linear**Step value**: 1

- Click
**OK**

### Step 4 – Check the result

- The list of numbers is created

## Option 3 – Use the ROW() function

### Step 1 – Type the formula

- Select the first cell of the column where the series is to be filled
- Type the formula:

=ROW(cell reference of the previous row)

- Press
**Enter**

### Step 2 – Copy the formula

- Using the fill handle from the first cell, drag the formula to the remaining cells

OR

- Select the cell with the formula and press
**Ctrl+C**or choose**Copy**from the context menu (right-click) - Select the rest of the cells in the column and press
**Ctrl+V**or choose**Paste**from the context menu (right-click)

### Step 3 – Check the result

- The list of numbers is created

## Option 4 – Use the SEQUENCE() function

### Step 1 – Type the formula

- In the first cell of the column where the series is to be filled, type:

=SEQUENCE(10,1,1,1)

- This is for 10 rows, 1 column, starting at 1 and incrementing by 1
- Press
**Enter** - The sequence of numbers is created