Use Excel data validation to create drop down lists on a worksheet, so data entry is easier. Watch the video, and download the sample file
For the Excel 2010 video and instructions, click here.
Data validation is a tool that helps you control the kind of information that is entered in your worksheet. With data validation, you can:
In this tutorial, you'll see how to create a drop down list of choices in a cell.
Watch this video to see the steps for creating a drop down list in Excel 2003. Written instructions are below the video.
Use Data Validation to create a drop down list of options in a cell. List items can be typed in a row or column on a worksheet, or typed directly into the Data Validation dialog box.
Note: Data validation is not foolproof. It can be circumvented by pasting data into the cell, or by choosing Edit|Clear|ClearAll
If the list of options is more than a couple of items, it will be easier to maintain if you type the list on a worksheet. The list can be entered on the sheet that will contain the drop down lists, or on a different sheet. In this example, the list will be stored on a sheet named Lists.
If you type the items on a worksheet, and name the range, you can refer to the list from any worksheet in the same workbook.
Note: To create a named list that automatically expands to include new items, use a dynamic range.
Tip: To select a range name, instead of typing it:
Instead of referring to a list of items on the worksheet, you can type the list in the Source box, separated by commas. For example:
To allow users to type items that are not in the list., turn off the Error Alert.
To protect the list from accidental damage, if you have entered it on a different worksheet, you can hide that sheet.
Download the zipped Excel 2003 sample workbook
Last updated: January 30, 2018 2:07 PM
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