How to Create Dropdown Options in Excel

How to Create Dropdown Options in Excel

Creating dropdown options in excel is a great way to limit the data people can enter into cells. This can help to ensure that only appropriate information is entered and will save time when entering data for a spreadsheet.

Using dropdown options in excel can also be used to display pop-up messages and error alerts for invalid input. This can make the dropdown more user-friendly and can also prevent users from accidentally entering incorrect data into the cell.

To create a dropdown option in excel, you must first select the cells where you want the list to appear. Next, you must navigate to the Data tab and click on Data Validation.

Once you have the Data Validation dialog open, you need to set Allow to List by clicking in the Source box and typing the text or numbers (separated by commas) that you would like to appear as the list options. When you are done, you need to click OK.

If you wish to include a message and error alert with your dropdown, then you need to check the Show Error Alert After Invalid Data is Entered box. This will enable you to enter a title and message that can be displayed on a small yellow pop-up sticky note when the dropdown is selected.

The message and error alert can be customized to reflect the purpose of your dropdown, and can even contain a link that leads to a website or other online source. This will ensure that your list of items is relevant and up-to-date, and it can be especially useful for lists that are frequently updated with new or changed data.

A dropdown can also be linked to a table which makes it dynamic in the sense that any changes or additions made to the table will automatically update the dropdown as well. You can use this technique to add items or remove them easily from your dropdown as and when required.

One other great way to create a dynamic dropdown is by making it dependent on another dropdown. You can see a simple example of this by putting two named ranges in a spreadsheet and then creating a dynamic dropdown by using the formula that references both these named ranges.

Using a Named Range as the Source for your Dropdown

The most common way to create a dynamic dropdown is to create a named range that will be referenced by all the items in the list. You can use a named range that is just a few cells wide, or you can create one that is an entire table in size.

When you use a named range as the source for your dropdown, it is important to arrange the items in the range so that they will appear in the order that you would like them to. You can do this by opening the range and deleting or adding entries to the named range, or you can edit the range and change the range reference in the source.

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