Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Tip 58: Creating a Drop-Down List in a Cell
Creating a Drop-Down List in a Cell
Most Excel users probably assume that some advanced feature (such as a VBA macro) is required to
display a drop-down list in a cell. But it’s not. You can easily display a drop-down list in a cell — no
macros required.
Figure 58-1 shows an example. Cell B2, when selected, displays a down arrow. Click the arrow, and
you get a list of items (in this case, month names). Click an item, and it appears in the cell. The
dropdown list can contain text, numeric values, or dates. Your formulas, of course, can refer to cells that
contain a drop-down list. The formulas always use the value that’s currently displayed.
Figure 58-1: Creating a drop-down list in a cell is easy and doesn’t require macros.
The trick to setting up a drop-down list is to use the data validation feature. The following steps
describe how to create a drop-down list of items in a cell:
1. Enter the list of items in a range.
In this example, the month names are in the range F1:F12.
2. Select the cell that will contain the drop-down list (cell B2, in this example).
3. Choose Data➜Data Tools➜Data Validation.
4. In the Data Validation dialog box, click the Settings tab.
5. In the Allow drop-down list, select List.
6. In the Source box, specify the range that contains the items.
In this example, the range is E1:E12.
7. Make sure that the In-Cell Dropdown option is checked (see Figure 58-2) and click OK.
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