Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
6. (Optional) Click the Input Message tab and specify which message to display when a user selects the cell.
You can use this optional step to tell the user what type of data is expected. If this step is omitted, no mes-
sage will appear when the user selects the cell.
7. (Optional) Click the Error Alert tab and specify which error message to display when a user makes an inval-
id entry. The selection for Style determines what choices users have when they make invalid entries. To pre-
vent an invalid entry, choose Stop. If this step is omitted, a standard message will appear if the user makes
an invalid entry.
Even with data validation in effect, a user can enter invalid data. If the Style setting on
the Error Alert tab of the Data Validation dialog box is set to anything except Stop, in-
valid data can be entered. You can identify invalid entries by having Excel circle them
(explained later).
8. Click OK. The cell or range contains the validation criteria you specified.
Types of Validation Criteria You Can Apply
From the Settings tab of the Data Validation dialog box, you can specify a wide variety of data validation criter-
ia. The following options are available from the Allow drop-down list. Keep in mind that the other controls on
the Settings tab vary, depending on your choice from the Allow drop-down list.
Any Value: Selecting this option removes any existing data validation. Note, however, that the input mes-
sage, if any, still displays if the check box is selected on the Input Message tab.
Whole Number: The user must enter a whole number. You specify a valid range of whole numbers by using
the Data drop-down list. For example, you can specify that the entry must be a whole number greater than
or equal to 100.
Decimal: The user must enter a number. You specify a valid range of numbers by refining the criteria from
choices in the Data drop-down list. For example, you can specify that the entry must be greater than or
equal to 0 and less than or equal to 1.
List: The user must choose from a list of entries you provide. This option is very useful, and I discuss it in
detail later in this chapter. (See “Creating a Drop-Down List.”)
Date: The user must enter a date. You specify a valid date range from choices in the Data drop-down list.
For example, you can specify that the entered data must be greater than or equal to January 1, 2013, and less
than or equal to December 31, 2013.
Time: The user must enter a time. You specify a valid time range from choices in the Data drop-down list.
For example, you can specify that the entered data must be later than 12:00 p.m.
Text Length: The length of the data (number of characters) is limited. You specify a valid length by using
the Data drop-down list. For example, you can specify that the length of the entered data be 1 (a single al-
phanumeric character).
Custom: To use this option, you must supply a logical formula that determines the validity of the user's
entry (a logical formula returns either TRUE or FALSE). You can enter the formula directly into the For-
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