Forum Question: How to bulk-fill blank cells in a “numbers-table”

I searched and searched and got lots of nothing!
Is there any possibility, without having to write my own software, to fill, e.g. 4289 empty cells “in one go and with any value” in a “numbers-table” (numbers being the iWork want-to-be equivalent to EXCEL)?
Numbers’ “Find and Replace” function does not allow to select blank cells, even though they exist! It allows only to select cells with a (any) existing entry! ! ???! ? (only god would know why! It could be such a simple thing, well, for EXCEL it is!)

Comments: 11 Responses to “How to bulk-fill blank cells in a “numbers-table””

    2/27/11 @ 8:51 pm

    Do you want to fill in a bunch of cells with the same value?
    If that is what you are asking, it is simple. Just fill in the first cell with a number. Select it. Copy. Then select the whole range of cells you want to fill. Paste.

    2/27/11 @ 8:59 pm

    Hi Gary

    Not that easy, sorry Gary!

    Assume I have 54 columns and 3800 rows and the empty cells I wan t to “Yes” mass fill, let’s say with e.g. “NULL” are all over the place, one here one there a few overthrew, others up here while some others again over at this site and under here … it’s like filling a mosaic – indeed, which makes your suggestion impossible.

    In EXCEL I cana simply select all “BLANK” cells and mass fill them with one click of a button. Mac? Apple’s slef-praised super-charged smart iWork is not able to do this?


      2/27/11 @ 9:04 pm

      Oops, Sorry … I may have missed to explain properly —- I would like to avoid having to “hand-select” 543987 cells – just to add a simple value into them.

      I would be on this for the next 7hrs, 23 minutes and 54 seconds ;-) falling surely asleep meanwhile before finishing the task

        2/27/11 @ 9:14 pm

        Ah, you didn’t say you needed to fill empty cells that are within a block of filled and empty ones. That’s different. I don’t know of any way to select or fill just the empty cells in a selection.
        But if you are filling them all with NULL, then why not just leave them as blank. If you are using the NULL value in formula calculations, then just switch to looking for blank cells instead? — just a suggestion. I don’t know all the details of what you need to do.
        Numbers and Excel are two different programs. They aren’t identical. Excel has been around a lot longer. They both do things differently. If they didn’t, there’d be no reason to have two.
        So, if you like Excel so much, then why not use Excel instead of Numbers?

    2/27/11 @ 9:24 pm

    So, if you like Excel so much, then why not use Excel instead of Numbers?

    Because I spent a lot of money for the Mac! ;-)

    Just leaving cells blank, doesn’t work with Apple’s numbers from iWork neither. Export it as a CSV and populate a MYSQL database with Apple’s generated CSV will result in every blank cell being recognized as a cell with “Some Kinda Entry” … Apple’s Magic, indeed.

    But you are right! I will make a switch back to EXCEL, least it works and I don;t need to spend days and days breaking my head about something that was accomplished last century already … not by Apple but ;-) ;-)

      2/27/11 @ 9:46 pm

      Excel is a very mature ultra-pro-level spreadsheet program. I recommend that people use it when they are already familiar with Excel. It is a great program.
      I’m a fan of both Excel AND Numbers. I think they are both great in their own way. But for some people (skill sets) and some needs, one is better than the other. In your case, sticking with Excel is a great option. It isn’t a Mac vs. Windows here as Excel is on both. In fact. Excel started as a Mac program — true.

    2/27/11 @ 10:00 pm

    Not only is Apple’ iWork … should be renamed to “NOwork” incompetent to handle CSV configuration for uploading, No – download a MYSQL online generated database in CSV format and upload it again … APPLE MAGIC come in again … Voila – all date formats are gone and will be replaced by 0000-00-00

    – Well done Apple. It’s a totally, unusable tool!

    2/27/11 @ 10:08 pm

    What you say is true, Gary! Still – I see no reason for Apple to strip an application of something so important just to be “different”?

    Thanks for confirming, though. I had my doubts with numbers earlier already ;-)

    The only thing I don’t agree with is that both applications are great in their own way. Apple needs to do less “town-crying” about how great their iWork is and sit down and do more programming … for their “super-charged” software to justify the investment.

    Thanks, Gary for your input!

    Mark Sansom
    12/1/11 @ 2:01 pm

    Hi Gary, You have a really awesome site here! I think it is the best I’ve seen so far for information on Mac. I have been watching your tutorials on Numbers and I was wondering if there was a way that you could do a tutorial that was a little more advanced, rather than just Add and Subtract. I’m working on a spread sheet for my Gold Site and it is a little more complex.. I want to figure out how much my expenses on a ton of materials and then the percentage of gold recovered per ton.. So lets say that One ton of dirt recovers .375 OZ of Gold, and Gold is going for $1746.24 for that day.. I would like to be able to change the ton numbers that was tabled for recovery for that day and then have the spread sheet show me at .375 OZ that this is the amount of Gold recovered @ gold rate for today $1746.24 = total profits after expenses, trucking, labor, gas, rent etc… So you can see that i’m using percentages, addition, subtraction, fractions, multiplication’s all on one spread sheet.. Do you have anything on this? Can you do a video tutorial on something like this?” your awesome with this stuff and I appreciate what you have done here on your site and youtube channel.

      12/1/11 @ 2:12 pm

      No, I don’t have anything like that. But Numbers is like any other spreadsheet program. So learn how to use spreadsheets and you can translate it all to Numbers. And there are tons of books and resources for that. For you, it is just a matter of working with your numbers step-by-step, or perhaps seeking the help of a spreadsheet expert friend.

    Gianni Barraza
    8/18/12 @ 3:01 am

    I have just read this thread, and while I cannot provide with a solution for “Mark Samson”, I can comment on Marc’s problem! (I didn’t know Marc was such a famus name!) to bulk fill a table with a value, fill to empty cells, no headers, with your value “NULL” . Select the two (shift + arrow key) and copy. (cmd + c) Press (cmd + a) to select all, and (cmd + v) to paste. All your cells have been filled!
    Most apple applications (if not all) are ment to be intuitive! So always try things like drag and drop, copy paste, etc when trying to do things in bulk. It works 8 out of 10 times.
    I hope this can be of help.

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