Data Validation’s Most Powerful Tool: Drop Down List

Validation2-1Last week we talked about Data Validation and the fun and excitement one could have restricting cells with it. Today, we are going to talk about one specific tool in Data Validation, the List option.

This option is great because it limits what the user can input in a cell while giving them options from a predefined list you create. This can greatly reduce input error and can streamline data input. Here is how you do it!

To start, create a list of items in cells A1 through A5, as shown below.


Next, click on cell B1. Open up the Data Validation menu from the Data ribbon. Choose ‘List’ and under Source type: “=A1:A5”


Now when you select cell B1, a drop down arrow will appear. When you click on it, you should be able to choose from the list you created in cells A1:A5. You can change this list at anytime and it will automatically update in B1.


And there you have it! Be the life of the party this weekend by showing your friends this cool trick. Stay tuned for our next Excel tip post!