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How to Add a Drop Down List In Excel

/ / Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Latest, Microsoft, Office 2010, Office 2013
A picture of Step #10 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.

Overview of How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel

In this lesson, you will learn how to add a drop down list in Excel within a worksheet. You accomplish this in Excel by using the “Data Validation” feature. To learn how to add a drop down list to Excel, first type the list of values you want the drop down list to display into a column within the Excel worksheet. Then select the cells where you want to show the drop downs lists and use the “Data Validation” tool to provide the user with a drop down list in those cells from which they can select a choice from the initial list of values you entered.

Instructions on How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel

  1. Type the list of values you want to use as the values within the drop-down list into the same worksheet within which you want to place the drop-down lists. The list of values MUST be on the same worksheet as the drop down lists.
    A picture of Step #1 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  2. Select the cells within which you want to create the drop down lists.
    A picture of Step #2 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  3. Click the “Data Validation” button shown in the “Data Tools” button group on the “Data” tab in the Ribbon. In the “Data Validation” dialog box that opens there are three tabs: “Settings,” “Input Message,” and “Error Alert.” Click the “Settings” tab to set the range of allowable values for the selected cell or cells.
    A picture of Step #3 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  4. Select the “List” choice from the “Allow:” drop-down on the “Settings” tab to restrict data entry in the selected cells to a list of cell values shown in the worksheet.
    A picture of Step #4 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  5. Click the “Collapse Dialog” button at the right end of the “Source:” text box to collapse the “Data Validation” dialog box to a single line.
    A picture of Step #5 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  6. Click and drag over the cells you want to use as the list of values from which the user can select. The list you select must be on the same worksheet as the cell to which you are applying the cell validation.
    A picture of Step #6 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  7. Click the “Expand Dialog” button at the right end of the “Data Validation” dialog box to expand the dialog box again.
    A picture of Step #7 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  8. At the right side of the “Data Validation” dialog box, check the “In-cell dropdown” to set the cell’s data entry method to be a drop-down list from which the user can select a displayed choice and check the “Ignore blank” checkbox to ignore blank values within the list of drop-down values.
    A picture of Step #8 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  9. Click the “OK” button to apply the drop downs to the selected cells.
    A picture of Step #9 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.
  10. You can then hide the column that contains the list of values for the drop-down menu if you do not want the users to see the list within the worksheet.
    A picture of Step #10 in How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel.

 

Video of How to Add a Drop Down List in Excel from Lesson “17.6- Cell Validation” within the Complete Excel Training Titled “Mastering Excel Made Easy v.2013-2010.”

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