Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Data Validation: Bringing Quality Control to the Worksheet
its users with a series of data entry-control, or validation, options that help reduce the
likelihood that bad data will compromise your results.
Here’s a simple example: Suppose you need to enter the names of states in a range by
their two-character abbreviation, the way the post office codes them. You could devise
a data validation rule that restricts any data entry in a range of cells to exactly two
characters—meaning that if you were to accidentally type CAL instead of CA, you’d be
prevented from doing so.
You see the point. By engineering a data validation rule requiring two, and only two,
characters in the designated cells your chance of inadvertently making a data entry
mistake is narrowed. Of course, our rule wouldn’t stop you from erroneously entering NY
when you really wanted to type CA, because both have two characters, but it’s a start.
So let’s try to set up that two-character data validation rule to see how it works.
Select any cell and click the Data tab Data Validation button in the
Data Tools button group. This sounds strange, but click either the upper
half of the button or click the lower half or the small arrow and then click
Data Validation. Quirky, but that’s how this, and some other Excel
buttons, work.
Now click the drop-down arrow by
Allow in the Data Validation dialog.
You’ll see:
Figure 2–39. Granting permission: The Data Validation
Allow menu lets you decide what sort of data to allow
in the selected cells.
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