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How to autocomplete when typing in Excel drop down list?

If you have a data validation drop down list with large values, you need to scroll down in the list just for finding the proper one, or type the whole word into the list box directly. If there is method for allowing to auto complete when typing the first letter in the drop down list, everything will become easier. In this tutorial, we will provide you with inserting Combo box in the worksheet and running VBA code together for achieving the autocomplete function in the drop down list.

Autocomplete when typing in drop down list with VBA code


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Autocomplete when typing in drop down list with VBA code

Firstly you need to insert a combo box into the worksheet and change its properties, and then running the VBA code to enable the autocomplete.

1. Get into the worksheet which contains the drop down list you want it to be autocompleted.

2. Before inserting the Combo box, you need to enable the Developer tab in the ribbon.

1). In Excel 2010 and 2013, click File > Options. And in the Options dialog box, click Customize Ribbon in the right pane, check the Developer box, then click the OK button. See screenshot:

2). In Outlook 2007, click Office button > Excel Options. In the Excel Options dialog box, click Popular in the right bar, then check the Show Developer tabin the Ribbon box, and finally click the OK button.

3. Then click Developer > Insert > Combo Box under ActiveX Controls. See screenshot:

4. Draw the combo box in current opened worksheet and right click it. Select Properties in the right-clicking menu.

5. In the Properties dialog box, you need to:

1). Change the name to TempCombo in the Name field;

2). Specify the font you need in the Font field;

3). Scroll down to select 1-fmMatchEntryComplete in the MatchEntry field;

4). Close the Properties dialog box.

6. Turn off the Design Mode with clicking Developer > Design Mode.

7. Right click on the current opened worksheet tab and click View Code. See screenshot:

8. Make sure that the current worksheet code editor is opened, and then copy and paste the below VBA code into it. See screenshot:

VBA code: Autocomplete when typing in drop down list

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
'Update by Extendoffice: 2018/9/21
    Dim xCombox As OLEObject
    Dim xStr As String
    Dim xWs As Worksheet
    Dim xArr
    
    Set xWs = Application.ActiveSheet
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xCombox = xWs.OLEObjects("TempCombo")
    With xCombox
        .ListFillRange = ""
        .LinkedCell = ""
        .Visible = False
    End With
    If Target.Validation.Type = 3 Then
        Target.Validation.InCellDropdown = False
        Cancel = True
        xStr = Target.Validation.Formula1
        xStr = Right(xStr, Len(xStr) - 1)
        If xStr = "" Then Exit Sub
        With xCombox
            .Visible = True
            .Left = Target.Left
            .Top = Target.Top
            .Width = Target.Width + 5
            .Height = Target.Height + 5
            .ListFillRange = xStr
            If .ListFillRange = "" Then
                xArr = Split(xStr, ",")
                Me.TempCombo.List = xArr
            End If
            .LinkedCell = Target.Address
        End With
        xCombox.Activate
        Me.TempCombo.DropDown
    End If
End Sub
Private Sub TempCombo_KeyDown(ByVal KeyCode As MSForms.ReturnInteger, ByVal Shift As Integer)
    Select Case KeyCode
        Case 9
            Application.ActiveCell.Offset(0, 1).Activate
        Case 13
            Application.ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Activate
    End Select
End Sub

9. Click File > Close and Return to Microsoft Excel to close the Microsoft Visual Basic for Application window.

10. Now, just click the cell with drop down list, you can see the drop-down list is displayed as a combo box, then type the first letter into the box, the corresponding word will be completed automatically. See screenshot:

Note: This VBA code is not applied to merged cells.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sam · 3 years ago
    How can I lock cells?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Holly · 3 years ago
    I am protecting the sheet so that the formulas can't be modified and when I protect the sheet the auto fill functionality no longer works. Do you have a solution for this?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sam · 3 years ago
      have you found a solution for this?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Thomas · 3 years ago
    Same problem as another user - after adding this combo box, I am unable to copy and paste from one cell to another. The copy function seems to work, but the paste, paste special, and CTRL+V do not. Thank you.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      NAMASTAH · 2 years ago
      Hi Thomas... did you ever get a solution to this? I have yet to find one.
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Thomas · 2 years ago
        No real answer - I just go back to DEVELOPER and deselect DESIGN MODE when I must copy and past - remember to click DESIGN MODE again when you are finished; otherwise, your combo box will not function properly when you double click a cell.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Namastah · 3 years ago
    Hello... After adding this combo box, I am unable to copy and paste other elements on the worksheet. It allows me to copy by paste is greyed out. Also, is there a way to make the combo box work in merged cells? Thank you
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Yane · 3 years ago
    Excelent solution, thank you!