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Excel Guide

How to Insert a Drop Down List in Excel

A drop-down list in Excel allows you to create a list of items to choose from and insert it into a cell or range of cells. Drop-down lists are ideal when you want to offer a series of choices without cluttering up your worksheets with additional columns. Here's how to insert a drop-down list in Excel.

Creating the Drop-Down List:

To create a drop-down list in Excel, you first need to create a list of items. This can be done in a separate worksheet or even in a separate workbook. For this example, let's create a list in a separate worksheet.

  1. Open a new worksheet and in cell A1, type "Item."
  2. Below that, type a series of items you want in the drop-down list (e.g., a list of fruits).
  3. Once your list is complete, it should look something like this:

Inserting the Drop-Down List:

After creating your list, you're ready to insert the drop-down list into your worksheet.

  1. Select the cell or range of cells where you want the drop-down list.
  2. Go to the Data tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Click the Data Validation button. This opens the Data Validation dialog box.
  4. In the Data Validation dialog box:
  5. Select the List option under the Allow drop-down.
  6. In the Source field, type the address of the cells containing your list of items (e.g., "A1:A5").

Your dialog box should look like this:

  • Click the OK button, and your drop-down list will be inserted into the selected cell or range of cells.

Using the Drop-Down List:

To use the drop-down list:

  1. Click on the cell containing the list.
  2. A small arrow will appear, indicating the presence of a drop-down list.
  3. Click the arrow, and a list of items will appear.
  4. Click on the item you want to select, and it will be inserted into the cell.

If you want to edit the items in the drop-down list, go back to the worksheet containing the list, make your changes, and the drop-down list will automatically update.

Deleting the Drop-Down List:

To delete the drop-down list:

  1. Select the cell or range of cells containing the list.
  2. Go to the Data tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Click the Data Validation button.
  4. In the dialog box, select None under the Allow drop-down.
  5. Click the OK button, and the drop-down list will be deleted.