How to hide previously used items in dropdown list?
In Excel, you can quickly create a normal dropdown list, but have you ever tried to make a dropdown list when you choose one item, the previously used one will be removed from the list? For example, if I have a dropdown list with 100 names, as I select a name, I want to delete this name from the drop down list, and now the dropdown contains 99 names, and so on until the drop down list is empty. Maybe, this is some difficult for most of us, and here, I can talk about how to create such a drop down list in Excel.
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Supposing you have a list of names in Column A as following screenshot shown, then follow the below steps one by one to finish this task.
1. Besides your name list, please enter this formula =IF(COUNTIF($F$1:$F$11,A1)>=1,"",ROW()) into cell B1, see screenshot:
Note: In the above formula, F1:F11is the cell range that you want to put the drop down list, and A1 is your name cell.
2. Then drag the fill handle over to the range that contain this formula, and you will get the following result:
3. And go on applying a formula in Column C, please type this formula: =IF(ROW(A1)-ROW(A$1)+1>COUNT(B$1:B$11),"",INDEX(A:A,SMALL(B$1:B$11,1+ROW(A1)-ROW(A$1)))) into cell C1, see screenshot:
4. Then fill this formula down to the range you need, see screenshot:
5. Now you need to define a range name for these names in Column C, select C1:C11 (the range you apply formula in step 4), and then click Formulas > Define Name, see screenshot:
6. In the New Name dialog box, type a name in the Name text box, and then enter this formula =OFFSET(Sheet2!$C$1,0,0,COUNTA(Sheet2!$C$1:$C$11)-COUNTBLANK(Sheet2!$C$1:$C$11),1) into the Refers to field, see screenshot:
Note: In the above formula, C1:C11 is the helper column range that you have created in Step 3, and the Sheet 2 is the current sheet you are using.
7. After finishing the settings, then you can create a drop down list, select cell F1: F11 where you want to put the drop down list, then click Data > Data Validation > Data Validation, see screenshot:
8. In the Data Validation dialog box, click Settings tab, then choose List from the Allow drop down list, and then under Source section, enter this formula: =namecheck, (namecheck is the range name you are created in Step 6), see screenshot:
9. And then click OK button to close this dialog, now, the drop down list have been created in the selected range, and after selecting one name from the drop down, this used name will be removed from the list and it only shows the names that have not been used, see screenshot:
Tip: You cannot remove the helper columns you make in above steps, if you remove them, the drop down list will be invalid.
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- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 2 months agoThis worked like a charm ... expect I need to have this "repeat" in three places on the same spreadsheet. I can't make it function properly, the second time. The items from the first drop down list are eliminated but when an entry is selected in the second location, it isn't removed from the list. Any idea on how to may this function properly?KL
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 2 months agoCan this formula be used successfully across multiple columns on one spreadsheet? I'm trying to have three columns where someone can select up to three items from a drop down list, i.e. item 1 in column 3, items2 in column 4, and item 3 in column 5. I can get the formula to work at the first occurrence, however, the second time I try to copy the formula, the selection(s) don't disappear from the drop down list, as they do in the column of the first occurrence.
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 4 months agoBravo! Fantastic solution! I have my workbook set up such that the items in my list are in a separate worksheet that I'm index-matching to through my number and helper columns leaving only them two on my calculation page. Again, very clean solution, Programmer!
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 9 months agoStep 6 isn't working for me. I keep getting an error message saying the syntax of this name isn't correct... Can anyone help?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 2 years agoIs there a way to have only some of the options get removed when selected and others be permanent?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 2 years agoHow do I get this activity to work if I transpose from Row to Column
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 2 years agoI’ve entered all the formulas correctly, but the only name showing up is the first one on the list. What am I doing wrong??
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 3 years agoWorks great, however, if you have two people on the list with the same name e.g. John Smith it removes both incidents of 'John Smith' from the list when you select one of them.
Is there a way to amend this so that you have have multiple versions of the one name without them all being removed?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 4 years agoHow would you change this formula for use of data validation list across multiple rows instead of a single column. Is that possible?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 4 years agoAwesome, Working for me...
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 4 years agoI changed mine to accommodate my needs "=IF(COUNTIF(Statusboard!$C:$C,A1)>=1,"",ROW())" Make sure you change the $F$1:$F$11 from "=IF(COUNTIF($F$1:$F$11,A1)>=1,"",ROW())" to wherever your list is in my case it was Statusboard!$C:$C,A1.
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoI need to be able to create a list that has items that disappear but I want to be able to use it in multiple columns on the same sheet. Does anyone know how to do that? - Thanks!
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoI need to be able to use this list multiple times in multiple columns but as soon as an item disappears it's gone for good. Does anyone know how I can create this and be able to use it for multiple columns? Thanks!
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoHey all,
I got this to work, and it works like a charm!
@Amanda, yes. I have my data on a different sheet as the dropdown menu. See the below written formulas.
Yes, you can use a formula to automatically select the unique values from a list. I used this to have a dynamic list.
Mind you; I used google and a lot of different website to get to this formula, so it's not all my own work.
First: to get the list of things to display:
=== Basically this is the same formula twice. Which will give an empty ("") value if no further unique values are found. Anyway, the formula returns an unique list of values from my 'Sheet1!'. (lets say for easy reference I have this formula on Sheet 2, column A)
Then I just start using the same formula as above (my sheet 2 column B):
=== Sheet 3 is where I have my dropdowns. This is probably what you're looking for Amanda.
Then the last bit of the formula:
=== This formula is in my Sheet 2 column C.
This *should* work.
Good luck to you all! And again, a great thank you to the author!
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoThanks for this guide. I'm just asking if it's possible when I update a value in formula, this value will be updated automatically in list of items?
I select value "James" from list in cell F
Now, I want to change value from "James" to "Thomas". I rewrite value "James" to "Thomas" in cell A, formula automatically change value in cell C. It's OK, but I need this changed value is automatically updated in cell F as well.
How can I reach that? Any ideas?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoDoes anyone know if it is possible to use this between sheets? For instance if the original info (the column A portion) is on one sheet, but the dropdown (the column F portion) is on another? How would that change the formula?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoHi, I can't get it to work properly.
When trying to complete step 8 I get a message about 'The source returns an error at evaluation. Do you wish to continue?'
I am using Excel 2010, any idea?
- To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.· 5 years agoI had that happen at first, too. I had not changed the "sheet2" portion to the proper sheet name for what I was using.