The Spill Handle

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Simple and complex data generation functions can be repeated rapidly using the spill handle. This is useful where large quantities of data are needed, especially when the data contains complex relationships and dependencies that need to be retained consistently.

Note: Excel does not execute functions asynchronously. Functions are typically therefore executed at varying speeds, so that the Spill Handle will not necessarily execute functions in a linear manner. When the sequence of data needs to be retained, the Spill Handle should not therefore be used, and the functions should be copy and pasted row by row. For instance, the Spill Handle will not provide a set of linear, sequential integers when the sequential integer function is used; if sequential integers are required, the function should be copied and pasted.

To use the Spill Handle, highlight the cell or cells that contain the data and formulae that you would like to repeat. Next, click the square in the bottom right-hand corner of the selection, and drag vertically or horizontally to cover the cells in which you would like to repeat the formulae and values.

The interdependencies with other cells are retained when the Spill Handle is used. For instance, if a formula in cell “A1” references cell “B1”, and the spill is dragged to row 10, rows A1:10 will use the data in rows B1:10.