How to Automatically Add Serial Numbers in Excel

Experts know the importance of serial numbers.

Serial numbers are like salt. You never feel their presence but their absence makes your data tasteless.

Yes, they are important.

Because with a serial number you can have a unique identity to each entry of your data.

But the sad news is, adding them manually is a pain.

It’s really hard to add a number in every row one after another.

The good news is, there are some ways which we can use to automatically add serial numbers in a column.

14 Ways to Insert Serial Number Column in Excel

And today, in this post, I’d like to share with you 14-Quick Methods.

You can use any of these methods which you think is perfect for you.

These methods can generate numbers up to a specific number or can add a running column of numbers.

…choose one of the below methods as per your need and if you think you have a way, then please share it with me in the comment section.

Method #1

Method #2

Method #3 (Fastest)

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Method #4

Method #5 (My Favorite ?)

Method #6

Method #7

Method #8 (VBA Code)

Method #9

Method #10

Method #11

Method #12 (For Pivot Table Lovers)

Method #13

Method #14


If you have data whether small or large it is must to add serial numbers to it.

The one thing which you really need to understand that a serial number give a unique identity to each entry.

And, with all the methods you have learned above it’s no big deal to create a serial number column in the data, no matter which situation you are in.

I hope you found this useful, but now, tell me one thing. 

Which method do you prefer to insert serial numbers?

Please share your views with me in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you and please don’t forget to share it with your friends, I am sure they will appreciate it.

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About the Author

Puneet Gogia

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.

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  1. Totally not what I was looking for. I have a single excel file. I have a field at the top “work order number”. Each time I open the file and do a “save as”, I want it to increment. How do I do that?

  2. how to insert 4 columns in between 1 to 800 for example 4 empty columns, 4 empty columns, 4 empty columns, this through out the 800 sl.nos

  3. i want to put serial no as below data in automatic (colon A having s/n, B having group data but i need sn in group data wise
    1 HS Code
    2 HS Code
    22 02 99 90
    3 HS Code
    4 HS Code

    5 HS Code

  4. Dynamic Serial Number method good find.
    Also Learnt usage of Row and CountA function in Serial number from this. Thank you 🙂

  5. Thanks a lot for your explanations! it really helped me..I personally like method 3 and 5.

  6. What formula will be use for this type of numbring

    1 2/60 ERI
    1 10 S SLUB COTT
    1 25S ACRLYIC

    2 2/60 ERI
    2 2/20 COT
    2 10 COTTON
    2 2/40 COTTON

    3 2/60 ERI
    3 2/20 COT
    3 10 COTTON
    3 2/40 COTTON

    4 2/20 COTTON
    4 2/60 ERI
    4 25 S ACRLYIC

  7. I have a serial numbers as A,B,C,D,…Z. If I delete one of the row, the series of A,B,C,D,E…Z should not be changed. it should again shows A,B,C,D,E,…..Z. please help…its urgent.


    • You need to use ROW function and then add (18-19) as a test so if I have to insert serial number in cell A1 then the formula would be =ROW()&”(18-19)”

  9. I often use MAX to achieve automated numbering, with cell formatted as a number ending in decimal point (“#,##0.”), with a dependency on the cell to the right having a value in it.

    For example
    With Row 1 having column headings, I would have the following formula in call A2 –
    =if( $B2 = “” , “” , max( $A$1:$A1) + 1
    which can then be dragged / copied down to the bottom of the sheet or area you need it to apply to. Useful to apply step by step documentation of steps in a process, where blank lines between any steps do not get numbered.

  10. I need to insert automatic serial no.s like :
    TK003 ….and so on.
    with condition that when there is some entry in the next coloum even then this serial no. has auto entered.

    • Sub AddSerialNumbers()

      Dim i As Integer

      On Error GoTo Last

      i = InputBox(“Enter Value”, “Enter Serial Numbers”)

      For i = 1 To i
      ActiveCell.Value = i
      ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Activate
      ActiveCell.Value = i
      ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Activate
      Next i


      Exit Sub

      End Sub

    • Let’s say your sequence begins in cell A2.
      In cell A2, enter a 1
      In cell A3, enter this formula:
      Use the fill handle to drag that down as far as needed.

  11. The other day I learned the following:
    – in Cell A1 type the number 1
    – while holding down CTRL button, use Fill Handle on bottom right hand corner of cell A1 and drag down
    – you will see the numbers filled in sequential order as you drag down