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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 items, you need to scroll up and 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. This tutorial will provide a VBA method to help you achieve it.

Autocomplete when typing in drop down list with VBA code
More tutorials for drop down list...


Autocomplete when typing in drop down list with VBA code

Please do as follows to make a drop down list autocomplete after typing corresponding letters in the cell.

Firstly, you need to insert a combo box into the worksheet and change its properties.

1. Open the worksheet that contains the drop down list cell you want to make it autocomplete.

2. Before inserting a Combo box, you need to add the Developer tab to the Excel ribbon. If the Developer tab is showing on your ribbon, shift to step 3. Otherwise, do as follows: Click File > Options to open the Options window. In this Excel Options window, click Customize Ribbon in the left pane, check the Developer box, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

3. Click Developer > Insert > Combo Box (ActiveX Control).

4. Draw a combo box in current worksheet. Right click it and then select Properties from the right-clicking menu.

5. In the Properties dialog box, please replace the original text in the (Name) field with TempCombo.

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

Then, apply the below VBA code

7. Right click on current sheet tab and click View Code from the context menu. See screenshot:

8. In the opening Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, please copy and paste the below VBA code into the worksheet’s Code window.

VBA code: Autocomplete when typing in drop down list

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
'Update by Extendoffice: 2020/01/16
    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. Press Alt + Q keys simultaneously to close the Microsoft Visual Basic Applications window.

From now on, when click on a drop down list cell, the drop down list will prompt automatically. You can start to type in the letter to make the corresponding item complete automatically in selected cell. See screenshot:

Note: This code does not work for merged cells.

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Related articles:

How to create drop down list with multiple checkboxes in Excel?
Many Excel users tend to create drop down list with multiple checkboxes in order to select multiple items from the list per time. Actually, you can’t create a list with multiple checkboxes with Data Validation. In this tutorial, we are going to show you two methods to create drop down list with multiple checkboxes in Excel. This tutorial provides the method to solve the problem.

Create drop down list from another workbook in Excel
It is quite easy to create a data validation drop down list among worksheets within a workbook. But if the list data you need for the data validation locates in another workbook, what would you do? In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a drop fown list from another workbook in Excel in details.

Create a searchable drop down list in Excel
For a drop down list with numerous values, finding a proper one is not an easy work. Previously we have introduced a method of auto completing drop down list when enter the first letter into the drop down box. Besides the autocomplete function, you can also make the drop down list searchable for enhancing the working efficiency in finding proper values in the drop down list. For making drop down list searchable, try the method in this tutorial.

Auto populate other cells when selecting values in Excel drop down list
Let’s say you have created a drop down list based on the values in cell range B8:B14. When you selecting any value in the drop down list, you want the corresponding values in cell range C8:C14 be automatically populated in a selected cell. For solving the problem, the methods in this tutorial will do you a favor.

More tutorials for drop down list...


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jesus Bermudez · 26 days ago
    Hi, thanks for your code. I have a problem, It's not working. My data for the validation list is in other sheet (Also is a excel table Ctrl + T because I need enter new data every day), I dont know if any of these are the problem. Can you help me with this?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    opalmagic · 1 months ago
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    stefany · 2 months ago
    hi, thanks for your code. I would like to autocomplete and make multiple selections in a drop down list. Can you help me please?, thank you
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Dilshan · 2 months ago
    @crystal Hi,
    I am trying to pull that list data from another sheet but it does not work. below is my code
    Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    'Update by Extendoffice: 20190812
    Dim xCombox As OLEObject
    Dim xStr As String
    Dim xWs As Worksheet
    Dim xArr
    Dim xRgStr As String
    Dim xRg As Range
    xRgStr = "MAINInput!$D:$D"
    'MAINInput = sheet name where the list is available


    Set xWs = Application.ActiveSheet
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xCombox = xWs.OLEObjects("cmbEmployee")
    With xCombox
    .ListFillRange = ""
    .LinkedCell = ""
    .Visible = False
    End With
    Set xRg = Intersect(Range(xRgStr), Target)
    If xRg Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    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.cmbEmployee.List = xArr
    End If
    .LinkedCell = Target.Address
    End With

    xCombox.Activate
    Me.cmbEmployee.DropDown
    End If
    End Sub
    Private Sub cmbEmployee_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
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    wendy · 4 months ago
    @crystal I have done that - saved as a macro-enabled workbook but it still all disappears when you close the file. Thanks, Wendy

  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 5 months ago
    @taras.samolyuk Good day,
    Would you provide a screenshot of what you are trying to do?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    krish · 5 months ago
    Hello thanks for the code it works great.
    But i want to auto expand drop down list when i move to next cell by pressing enter key without clicking on arrow button (or) alt+down.
    Thanks in advance.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    taras.samolyuk · 5 months ago
    Hello, is there a chance to add dependency to select date and in the next column to the proposed choices?
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    Christiam Alfonzo · 5 months ago
    como hago para agregar esta función
    =INDIRECTO("tabla1[columna]")
    al código
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 5 months ago
    @Danielle Hi,
    The code works well in my case. It is not easy to figure out the problem as you described above. Would you mind sending your worksheet to my email address?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Danielle · 5 months ago
    I tried to use this method. I added the code. After that I add the range needed. Looks all fine. Then I test and the combobox dissapears directly after filling it. So the code works, but its not usable. What do I do wrong?
    Kind regards, Danielle
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    coltan123 · 7 months ago
    Code is working , but data validation is not working. For example, when i set the data validation to be red/bue/yellow, it does not show error message when i type green
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 8 months ago
    @Mhyk Hi,
    Methods in this tutorial can do you a favor:
    How To Auto Populate Other Cells When Selecting Values In Excel Drop Down List?
    https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/2400-excel-drop-down-list-auto-populate.html
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mhyk · 8 months ago
    Hi I have some difficulties with my excel work. I would like to know if there is a method to autofill the cell I desire?
    Example
    1 = san pedro
    2 = santa rosa
    3 = calamba
    4 = san pablo
    and so on.

    I have a list with correspoding numbers. If I input number 1 in Cell A5 I would like it to automatically fill the Cell B5 with its corresponding list name (san pedro) and if I input 3 in A5, B5 will be = calamba.
    thank you. for the help, Im having trouble to find a solution to this hope to find answers.
    Thank you and God Bless.


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    Sisi · 8 months ago
    Hi Guys,


    I have made 2 different drop down list searchable in 1 sheet, the fist is working well but the second drop down list is showing me the formula of indirect as the second drop down list is indirect of the first. I have apply the VBA with combo and so on but still the second list is showing me the formula. how to I fix this?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Simona Muresan · 8 months ago
    Hi Guys,


    I have made 2 different drop down list searchable in 1 sheet, the fist is working well but the second drop down list is showing me the formula of indirect as the second drop down list is indirect of the first. I have apply the VBA with combo and so on but still the second list is showing me the formula. how to I fix this?

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    Alistair · 9 months ago
    @crystal Hi there, this is a great solution, but for some reason, in the original code, the combox was hidden when the cell with the data validation was not active, and only visible when the cell was selected.
    With this code, we get undo back, which is perfect, but the combox does not auto-hide again when you click off.
    Do you have a solution for this?

    Thanks,

    Alistair
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    Donald · 9 months ago
    @crystal Hi Cristal, great answer. Now if on the same worksheet I want to add another combo box that calls data from a third sheet, how would the code look like as I tried and got no result. I will appreciate your support. Donald
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    crystal · 9 months ago
    @Leonardo Hi Leonardo,
    The VBA works for all data validation drop down lists in the worksheet.
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    Juan Carlos · 9 months ago
    Hello, I have a problem with this method and I already use a list validated with an indirect function to refer to the range of a table and when applying this macro it shows me only the indirect formula in the list! How could I solve this problem?
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    Leonardo · 9 months ago
    Hi! Is it possible to disable the combo box scrolling list when I click on the cell? and leave it active only if I click on the arrow, thanks!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Leonardo · 9 months ago
    Hello, is it possible to replicate this in a complete column? I mean that each individual row of a column has this possibility or at least 1000 rows in a simple way. Thank you!
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    ahmad zaid · 9 months ago
    @crystal It's work in cell with list but when i move or tap or select any cell with no list ..the up message talked you about always show..

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    crystal · 9 months ago
    @Rohit Hi Rohit,
    After applying the code, please save the workbook as an Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook before closing the file.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    gurita_22 · 9 months ago
    If you use this method with one combobox/sheet i guess it's flawless.

    I used this method with three comboboxes on one sheet with 3 different ListFillRange.
    Dropdown keep showing up on different combobox than what i'm typing in.
    1. I type and select correctly from the first.
    2. When i go to second combo, the third dropdown pops up.(I have to select the"", as it is still empty)
    then i can search my second combobox.
    3. When i go to the third, the first dropdown pops up, I reselect the only item(as there is only one that was already selected in the first step)
    After this i can add the content in the third dropdown.



    All subs are on sheet1's vba window.
    Now i'm trying to spit code in different modules, but can't really make it work.
    Search works, but i always have to push the dropdown arrow to see available results to select. Dropdown doesn't pop up at all.

    using 365, but i have to make "sheet" work on excel 2010
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Rohit · 10 months ago
    The command works when first applied. But after saving the file, when i reopen it the drop down itself disappears.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 10 months ago
    @ahmadzaid Hi,
    I tried the VBA in Excel 2010 and it works well.
    The drop down list should be data validation drop-down list which is created by clicking Data > Data Validation....
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    ahmadzaid · 10 months ago
    @crystal I get an error message (1004) - the debug highlights ‘If Target.Validation.Type =3 Then’


    fo info. I use excel 2010
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    ahmadzaid · 10 months ago
    I get an error message (1004) - the debug highlights ‘If Target.Validation.Type =3 Then’


    for info .. I use excel 2010

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    crystal · 10 months ago
    @Carlos Hi Carlos,
    Remove the "cancel = true" line from the VBA, then try again.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Carlos · 11 months ago
    @crystal Hi. Office 365 Pro Plus
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 11 months ago
    @Carlos Hi Carlos,
    Which Excel version are you using?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Carlos · 11 months ago
    Hi! Thanks for this code!

    I'm getting a compile error saying "variable not defined", it highlights the "cancel = true" line
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 11 months ago
    @Reinaldo Yajure Hi Reinaldo Yajure,
    Please apply the below VBA code. The problem is fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    'Update by Extendoffice: 2020/05/19
    Dim xCombox As OLEObject
    Dim xStr As String
    Dim xWs As Worksheet
    Dim xArr

    Set xWs = Application.ActiveSheet
    On Error Resume Next
    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
    Set xCombox = xWs.OLEObjects("TempCombo")
    With xCombox
    .ListFillRange = ""
    .LinkedCell = ""
    .Visible = False
    End With
    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
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    Mitchell · 11 months ago
    Hi Crystal,

    Absolutely perfect and thank you for the code. However when i press enter the cell automatically goes down. How can I make the cell go to the right when I press enter?

    MItchell

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    crystal · 11 months ago
    @Sergio Hi Sergio,
    The method in this article can help you:
    How To Create A Searchable Drop Down List In Excel?
    https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/2439-excel-drop-down-list-search.html
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 11 months ago
    @Sandeep Sharma Hi Sandeep Sharma,
    In the Properties dialog box of the Combo box (step 5 of this tutorial), please find the ListRows field and then change the number 8 to 12 under the Alphabetic tab.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sergio · 11 months ago
    Hi,

    Is it possible to show the matches with the caracter your typping using this code and format of combox?

    Example:

    You have a list with Onion, Black Onion, Green Onion, Red Onion...

    And in the combox you type: "On", so the drop down list show all the values existing on the list that matchs with "On".

    Thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Reinaldo Yajure · 1 years ago
    When I applied this code to my worksheet, the Undo function is disabled (but only for this sheet in the workbook) -- is there a way to fix this so that undo can still be used?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sandeep Sharma · 1 years ago
    is there any way to increase the list size as it is showing up only 10 line items as i have 12 lines
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 1 years ago
    @Jonas Hi Jonas,
    The Tab key and the Enter key can work normally. But can't help with the Arrows yet. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jonas · 1 years ago
    How can I Use Tab/Arrows/Enter to move to another cell once the current cell is filled? Thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jonas · 1 years ago
    @crystal It doesnt work for me either, I can still enter items that are not on the list. can you please help!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ramitha · 1 years ago
    Hi . It is a very useful code . However , I cannot use it on horizontal tables which are is a reference for vertical drop downs. Is there a solution ?
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    K1000z · 1 years ago
    @crystal Looks good.Thanks Crystal.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 1 years ago
    @K1000z Hi,
    If you only want the column H to be affected, please try the below VBA code. But it is only available in one worksheet. For multiple sheets, you need to add the code to each sheet code window. Hope I can help.

    Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    'Update by Extendoffice: 2019/8/14
    Dim xCombox As OLEObject
    Dim xStr As String
    Dim xWs As Worksheet
    Dim xArr
    Dim xRgStr As String
    Dim xRg As Range
    xRgStr = "H:H"

    Set xWs = Application.ActiveSheet
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xCombox = xWs.OLEObjects("TempCombo")
    With xCombox
    .ListFillRange = ""
    .LinkedCell = ""
    .Visible = False
    End With
    Set xRg = Intersect(Range(xRgStr), Target)
    If xRg Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    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
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    crystal · 1 years ago
    @Jerome Hi Jerome,
    The Tab key still works well in my case after applying the code. Which Excel version are you using?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 1 years ago
    @Don P. Hi Don P.
    Only the 1-MatchEntryComplete option can make it work. Sorry can't help you for that.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    crystal · 1 years ago
    @Billy Hi Billy,
    Which Excel version are you using?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    K1000z · 1 years ago
    Hi Guys, are you able to share a code which i can use so that the autocomplete is used on the same column i.e H in every sheet within the workbook.