I’m Sure There must be a Quicker Way!

Ok we all know that there are shortcuts to everything! The only trouble is we need to spend time finding out about them and its not always easy.  It’s the issue of not knowing what we need as we don’t know the name of what to search for!

Thankfully some of the shortcuts just fall into our laps – and they are so easy that we can immediately embrace them, and immediately see the magic!

Of course, for experts out there this will be like sucking eggs, but for the mediocre Excel user it is a gift! It has been around since 2013, but like most things they can pass us by but its value has not diminished one bit.

I am genuinely excited about this Excel Function – Flash Fill!  You may have never heard of it but believe me you will have needed it!

Why am I excited about this?


  • SUPER Practical

  • Eerily Intuitive

  • Time Saving

  • Less Headaches


Why is Flash Fill so Useful?

Common Scenario No. 1 - Separating Names

So, you have created a lovely list of names in Excel, however they are not separated into first and last names.  That’s ok until you want to do a mail merge and use first names only.  Now you realise that you need to separate all those first names from surnames.   What a headache! A grim afternoon of copying and pasting lies ahead.  While you’re copying and pasting you’re probably thinking I’m sure there must be a quicker way…

See the Quicker Way Being Demonstrated (less than 2 mins)

Separate names with flash fill


Common Scenario No. 2 - Generating Email Addresses 

So, you have another list of names, and now you wish to add an email address for everyone in the company into a separate column. So maybe you make full use of the reliable copy and paste tool…. copying the name in and then typing out the second part of the email address.  This gives me a headache just thinking about it.  While you are laboriously copying out all these email addresses you cannot help thinking I’m sure there must be a quicker way…


See the Quicker Way Being Demonstrated (less than 2 mins)

Use flash fill to create email addresses


Common Scenario No. 3 - Generating Mailing Labels

So, all your data is in separate columns, which Excel loves! However, you actually want to bring it all together. This could be because you need to print a mailing address. Do you flip to Microsoft Word and copy all the addresses out to create the labels? While you are doing this, you’re probably thinking I’m sure there must be quicker way…


See the Quicker Way Being Demonstrated (less than 2 mins)


Flash Fill to create mailing labels


Flash Fill is definitely my new Best Friend!