Dropdown list in excel are the options available in each cell for a user to chose as an input or any parameter, it is a very unique way to take a value from the user when we want to limit the responses so that there are fewer chances for a garbage value to be present in our data, it is like we are predefining the values a user can input, there are three ways to make a drop-down list in excel.
What is Drop Down List in Excel?
I know everybody in excel encountered the problem of not clear data entry from other departments. For example, instead of typing “Ravish” someone typed “Ravish ” The mistake they have done here is they entered one extra space after the name.
How cool it is if you can give a pre-determined list to the user and not allowing them to enter any manual entries, instead they select only from the list given and not from anywhere else – known as Drop Down List in Excel.
The typical example is: You are doing an online survey and for all the questions, you need either YES or NO as the answer. We are humans; instead of writing YES or NO, we write our own stories.
How to Create Drop Down List in Excel?
Let’s understand how to create drop down list in excel with examples.
Drop Down List in Excel allows you to create a series of the list and restricts the user from manual entry. By creating a DROPDOWN LIST, we can allow the users to answer those questions only from the pre-determined list.
In excel dropdown list is also called “Data Validation in Excel”, which is located under the Data tab we have Data Validation.
Follow this article to unleash the power of Drop Down List in Excel.
Example #1 – Creating a Static Drop-Down List in Excel
This is Ok, let me create a simple dropdown list. I have the city name and revenue details. I want to create a dropdown list for all the cities.
Now in D2 cell, I want to create a dropdown list of all the cities available from A2 to A14.
Step 1: Select the cell D2.
Step 2: Go to Data then Data Validation and Data Validation
Shortcut to open the Data Validation is:
Step 3: once you click on Data Validation, it will open the below window.
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Step 4: Under Settings and allow: click on the drop-down list and select LIST.
Step 5: Once you selected LIST it will how the SOURCE section. Under this SOURCE section, select the range of cities.
Step 6: Click OK it will create the selected list of drop-down in the cell D2.
Step 7: Now try to enter any value in the cell D2 it will show the result, as “The Value you entered is not valid”.
Step 8: Instead of excel gives the information we can modify our own information to the users if they enter the values manually.
Select the cell D2 and press ALT + A + V + V then Go to Input Message
Step 9: In this, box Title: “You Cannot Enter the Values”
Input Message: Please select from the list only.
Step 10: Now select the cell D2. As soon as you select the cell, D2 it will show the information you have given entered.
Step 11: Again select the cell and press ALT + A + V +V and go to Error Alert.
Step 12: In the Style option you can stop, give Warning, and Information icons. You can select any one of them.
Step 13: Now under Title: mention your error title and under Error message mention the message you want to show.
Step 14: Now try entering data manually it will show the error message you have created.
Example #2 – Creating a Dynamic Drop Down List in Excel
We can create the dynamic dropdown list. Dynamic means as data increases our dropdown list also should show the updated values.
Take the previous data as for this example as well. Add two more city names.
For the previous list, I have added 2 more cities, Napier and Geneva.
If you go to our excel drop down list, cell (D2) and click on the drop down list in excel. It will only show the previously selected list, not the updated one.
It is showing the list until Cape Town only. It is not showing newly entered values.
In order to make our drop down list up to date, we need to create Named Range and then create the drop down list in excel.
Step 1: Go to Formula then Name Manager.
Step 2: Click on Name Manager and select New.
Step 3: Once you click on New. Apply formula as shown in the below image.
Step 5: In the SOURCE instead of selecting the range give the Name we have created in Step 3.Step 4: Now select the cell D5 and press ALT + A + V+ V and select list.
Step 6: Now enter two more city names and check the drop-down list.
I have entered Haryana and Colombo to the list. If I click on the dropdown list in excel, it is capturing the new values that I have entered in the list.
Things to Remember
- We can create the dynamic drop-down list by using excel tables.
- We can create a dynamic drop-down list by using the INDIRECT function.
- We can directly enter the values to list directly instead of selecting the range of values.
- We can copy and paste the drop-down cell to any other cell.
- We can also create a dependent drop-down list in excel.
- Once the name manager in excel has created in the source range in data validation we just type F3 it will open up the entire name manager list. Here you can select the name you want.
This has been a step by step guide to Drop Down List in Excel. Here we discuss how to create Drop Down List in Excel (static and dynamic list) using examples and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful excel tools –