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Friday, November 27, 2020

Google Sheets Gets AI-Based ‘Smart Fill’ Feature to Autocomplete Data Entries

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In keeping with an announcement from earlier this year, Google Sheets has introduced a new ‘Smart Fill‘ feature that the company claims can detect and learn patterns between columns to intelligently autocomplete data entries. The technology behind the AI-based feature is similar to the one that’s used for Smart Compose in Gmail to predict what the user will write next, but the algorithm is tweaked in this case to make data entry faster and more effortless.

In an official blog post announcing the rollout, Google said that the AI-based feature will start looking for patterns as a user starts typing the first names in a column. If the software does spot a pattern, “it will generate the corresponding formula, and then autocomplete the rest of the column for you”. The GIF below best illustrates the new feature, and it looks incredibly promising.

In addition to using data that’s already in the sheet, Smart Fill will also use data from Google’s Knowledge Graph, thereby using public data to further guess your next entry, especially for names of countries and cities. According to Google, the feature will make it easier to prepare and use data in Sheets. “Similar to how Smart Compose in Gmail helps you write faster with fewer mistakes, Smart Fill makes data entry quicker and less prone to error,” said the company.

The feature has already started rolling out for folks on Rapid Release domains, but it might take up to 15 days for it to show up for everybody. For folks on Scheduled Release domains, it will start rolling out from November 5th. Smart Fill will be available on all personal and enterprise accounts and will be ‘On’ by default.

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