Note: The other languages of the website are Google-translated. Back to English

How to create a searchable drop down list in Excel?

For a drop-down list with many values, finding a suitable value from the list is not an easy work. We have previously introduced a method to auto-complete a drop-down list when the first letter is entered. In addition to the autocomplete function, you can also make the drop down list searchable to improve the efficiency of finding the appropriate value in the drop down list. In order to make the drop-down list searchable, you can follow the methods below step by step.

Create a searchable drop down list in Excel
Easily create a searchable drop down list with an amazing tool

More tutorials for drop down list...


Create a searchable drop down list in Excel

Suppose you have a list of country names in column A as shown in the screenshot below, and now you want to use them as the source data of the searchale drop-down lists, you can do as follows to get it done.

You need to insert a Combo box instead of a data validation drop-down list in your worksheet.

1. If the Developer tab does not display on the ribbon, you can enable the Developer tab as follows.

1). In Excel 2010 or later versions, click File > Options. And in the Excel Options dialog box, click Customize Ribbon in the left pane. Go to the Customize the Ribbon list box, check the Developer box, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

2). In Excel 2007, click Office button > Excel Options. In the Excel Options dialog box, click Popular in the left pane, check the Show Developer tab in the Ribbon box, and finally click the OK button.

2. After showing the Developer tab, click Developer > Insert > Combo box

3. Draw a Combo box in the worksheet, right click it and then select Properties from the right-clicking menu.

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

1). Select False in the AutoWordSelect field;
2). Specify a cell in the LinkedCell field. In this case, we enter A12;
3). Select 2-fmMatchEntryNone in the MatchEntry field;
4). Type DropDownList into the ListFillRange field;
5). Close the Properties dialog box. See screenshot:

5. Now turn off the design mode by clicking Developer > Design Mode.

6. Select a blank cell such as C2, enter the formula below and press Enter. They drag its AutoFill Handle down to cell C9 to auto fill the cells with the same formula. See screenshot:

=--ISNUMBER(IFERROR(SEARCH($A$12,A2,1),""))

Notes:

1. $A$12 is the cell that you have specified it as the LinkedCell in step 4;
2. After finishing the above steps, you can now test:  enter a letter C in the combo box, and then you can see that the formula cells that reference the cells containing the character C are filled with the number 1.

7. Select the cell D2, enter the formula below and press Enter. Then drag its AutoFill Handle down to the cell D9.

=IF(C2=1,COUNTIF($C$2:C2,1),"")

8. Select cell E2, enter the formula below and press Enter. Then drag its AutoFill Handle down to E9 to apply the same formula.

=IFERROR(INDEX($A$2:$A$9,MATCH(ROWS($D$2:D2),$D$2:$D$9,0)),"")

9. Now you need to create a name range. Please click Formula > Define Name.

10. In the New Name dialog box, type DropDownList in the Name box, enter the formula below in the Refers to box, and then click the OK button.

=$E$2:INDEX($E$2:$E$9,MAX($D$2:$D$9),1)

11. Now, turn on the design mode by clicking Developer > Design Mode. Then double click the Combo box to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

12. Copy and paste the VBA code below into the Code editor.

VBA code: make drop down list searchable

Private Sub ComboBox1_GotFocus()
	ComboBox1.ListFillRange = "DropDownList"
	Me.ComboBox1.DropDown
End Sub

13. Press the Alt + Q keys to close the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

From now on, when a character is entered in the combo box, it will do a fuzzy search and then list the relevant values in the list.

Note: You need to save this workbook as an Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook file in order to keep the VBA code for future use.


Easily create a searchable drop down list with an amazing tool

It seems that the above method is not easy to handle. Here recommend a handy feature - Searchable drop-down List of Kutools for Excel to help easily create a searchable drop-down list in Excel.

Before applying Kutools for Excel, please download and install it firstly.

Please do as follows to create a searchable drop-down list with the Searchable drop-down List feature.

1. Click Kutools > Drop-down List > Searchable Drop-down List > Enable Searchable Drop-down List.

2. In the opening Kutools for Excel dialog box (this dialog only pops up the first time you apply this feature), click the Yes button.

3. Then in the Searchable Drop-down List dialog box, you need to configure as follows.

3.1) In the Apply to section, you can specify the range scope for applying this feature:
A: Specified Range(s): Support one or more drop-down list ranges;
B: Specified Scope: Support Current worksheet, Current workbook or All workbooks.
3.2) In the Options section, there are two options, you can choose one of them, both of them or neither of them according to your needs:
A: Matches only the beginning of the word: If this option is checked, only the items that begin with the typed character are displayed, meanwhile, the first displayed item will be autocompleted; If this option is unchecked, items that contain the typed character will be displayed;
B: Case sensitive: If this option is checked, only the items match the case of the typed character are displayed; If this option is unchecked, items that containing the typed character will be displayed without case sensitive.
3.3) In the Mode section, choose the mode for adding drop-down list items to cells.
A: Append: If you choose this radio button, multiple searched items (including duplicates) will be allowed to be added to a cell. After adding the first searched item to a cell, if you perform a new search in that cell again, the new searched item will be added to the end of the existing one.
In the Separator text box, enter a separator to separate the added items;
In the Text Direction section, choose a direction to display the added items in the drop-down list cell.
B: Modify: If you choose this radio button, the later added item will overwrite the existing one. Only one item is allowed to be displayed in the cell at a time.
3.3) Click OK.

4. Then click Kutools > Drop-down List > Searchable Drop-down List > Enable Searchable Drop-down List to enable this feature.

Now the searchable drop-down list has been created. When clicking on a drop-down list cell, a list box will pop up with all drop-down items listed. Enter a character and the corresponding items will be searched out at once, and you can click the needed item to insert it into that cell.

If you chose Horizontally in the Text Direction section: all added items will be displayed horizontally in a cell. See the below demo:

If you chose Vertically in the Text Direction section: all added items will be displayed vertically in a cell. See the below demo:

If you chose the Modify radio button, only one item is allowed to be displayed in a drop-down list cell at a time. See the below demo:

Click to know more about this feature.

  If you want to have a free trial ( 30-day) of this utility, please click to download it, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.


Related articles:

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. 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 tutorial for drop down list...


The Best Office Productivity Tools

Kutools for Excel Solves Most of Your Problems, and Increases Your Productivity by 80%

  • Reuse: Quickly insert complex formulas, charts and anything that you have used before; Encrypt Cells with password; Create Mailing List and send emails...
  • Super Formula Bar (easily edit multiple lines of text and formula); Reading Layout (easily read and edit large numbers of cells); Paste to Filtered Range...
  • Merge Cells/Rows/Columns without losing Data; Split Cells Content; Combine Duplicate Rows/Columns... Prevent Duplicate Cells; Compare Ranges...
  • Select Duplicate or Unique Rows; Select Blank Rows (all cells are empty); Super Find and Fuzzy Find in Many Workbooks; Random Select...
  • Exact Copy Multiple Cells without changing formula reference; Auto Create References to Multiple Sheets; Insert Bullets, Check Boxes and more...
  • Extract Text, Add Text, Remove by Position, Remove Space; Create and Print Paging Subtotals; Convert Between Cells Content and Comments...
  • Super Filter (save and apply filter schemes to other sheets); Advanced Sort by month/week/day, frequency and more; Special Filter by bold, italic...
  • Combine Workbooks and WorkSheets; Merge Tables based on key columns; Split Data into Multiple Sheets; Batch Convert xls, xlsx and PDF...
  • More than 300 powerful features. Supports Office/Excel 2007-2019 and 365. Supports all languages. Easy deploying in your enterprise or organization. Full features 30-day free trial. 60-day money back guarantee.
kte tab 201905

Office Tab Brings Tabbed interface to Office, and Make Your Work Much Easier

  • Enable tabbed editing and reading in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Visio and Project.
  • Open and create multiple documents in new tabs of the same window, rather than in new windows.
  • Increases your productivity by 50%, and reduces hundreds of mouse clicks for you every day!
officetab bottom
Comments (63)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
very nicely explained. Loved it. Thank you !!
Prastuti
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Excellent post. Could you please explain how do you copy the same drop down list to multiple cells. I want to create an expense report and I want to be able to select a different expense on each row from the same drop down list. Thank you.
Cristina
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
i have the same need
Pierpaolo
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
For some reason when I click a selection from the drop down list after typing a few characters the drop down main value becomes blank... any idea why this would happen and how to get it to stop? I have a command button that I want to click to then put the selection into the next available cell in a given range, but again the value blanks out when I click on it.
MarkC
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have the exact same problem. I did everything right but the dropdownlist label just goes blank everytime I press enter. If you figured it out, please do share!
imad
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Mine isn't working. My dropdownlist label was not working in the "properties" for the combobox. Everytime I entered it, it disappeared. So I used "test" instead. I adjusted the macro with the word test instead of dropdowmlist. Let me know if there is something else I can do? Search not working.
imad
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
[quote]Mine isn't working. My dropdownlist label was not working in the "properties" for the combobox. Everytime I entered it, it disappeared. So I used "test" instead. I adjusted the macro with the word test instead of dropdowmlist. Let me know if there is something else I can do? Search not working.By imad[/quote] I have seen this "how to make an autofill / auto suggest DDL / combo box" on a few different sites and they ALL want you to put "something" in the ListFillRange field BEFORE they have you create a name range by clicking Formula > Define Name and the ListFillRange will always go blank in the Properties window UNTIL you define the name (Formula > Define Name) THAT is why i think IMAD, above and MAARTEN below was having the problem - not 100% sure though.
Herb123987
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
So I Finally got it to work! I attached the linkedcell to a vlookup and got all the information pulling into a row. I was wondering if there could be any extension on the vba to actually filter the table as we type?
imad
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, I can't fill in 'DropDownList' in the 'ListFillRange'.... What's the catch? I don't understand the solution of imad. Thanks.
Maarten
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
try to put this=--ISNUMBER(IFERROR(SEARCH($A$12,$A$2,1),"")) instead =--ISNUMBER(IFERROR(SEARCH($A$12,A2,1),"")) in step 6
Andone
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
[quote]Hi, I can't fill in 'DropDownList' in the 'ListFillRange'.... What's the catch? I don't understand the solution of imad. Thanks.By Maarten[/quote] I posted this answer above for IMAD and saw this posting down here for MAARTEN so I figured I'd post this for him too. I have seen this "how to make an autofill / auto suggest DDL / combo box" on a few different sites and they ALL want you to put "something" in the ListFillRange Properties field BEFORE they have you create a named range by clicking Formula > Define Name ....... and the ListFillRange will always go blank in the Properties window UNTIL you define the name (Formula > Define Name) THAT is why i think IMAD, above and MAARTEN below (here) was having the problem - not 100% sure though.
Herb123987
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi there, Thanks a lot for your solution. I gave up already, but I'll try again.
Maarten
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank You.. Very helpfull.. God Bless You
FAUZI
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I, like Cristina above, would also like to know how to make multiple combo boxes for one sheet. I tried but when I begin typing in the second combobox two things happen: 1. no drop down list appears, and 2. the simple act of typing in combobox2 activates the selection from my original combobox1 and highlights it in the drop down from combobox1. I checked to make sure all of my coding says combobox2 for combobox2 etc. for the other boxes but there is a disconnect that I can't figure out.
Yesenia
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have the exact same problem, have you managed a solution yet??
Jaydie
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Herb, What if i created a drop down list from another work sheet? the formula " =--ISNUMBER(IFERROR(SEARCH($A$2,H2,1),""))" has wrong reference and when i edit it it doesn't allow to put the right cell. what do you suggest? thank you
Ahmed Shahin
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
HI, How to do the same searchable program for contnious rwo , i tried and it is working one row only , i want to do the same for below row also for different name
Ashok
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
plz help me i cannt enter formula in formula bar when i paste this formula & paste this =--ISNUMBER(IFERROR(SEARCH($A$12,A2,1),"")) give me error.type :(
NAJMA
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you, I used above and it works perfectly.... Until you have two combo boxes in one sheet.. When you want to type in the second combo box it highlights the text in the first combo box and does not want to search If I leave the first box blank, the second box works fine Please help
Jaydie
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, your guide is most helpful, but i still encounter one last problem. I am trying to do a simple invoice, and do the drop down for my customer name cell, must my customer listing be in the same worksheet as my invoice worksheet? Is is possible i have two worksheet, "invoice" & "customer name", and do the drop down list for customer name at "invoice" worksheet? Thank you
Heric
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you for this breakdown to make the combo box searchable. I have even gotten three of them working on the same page. My problem I have run into is when I start typing in the search information and the info narrows down, if I hit the down arrow key to select the item in the list Excel crashes on me. Has anyone had this happen, and if so have you found a way to solve this issue.
Havocknox
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi,
The problemm you mentioned does not appear in my case. Would you please provide your Office version?
crystal
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi As in forum, I need to have this searchable dropdown for columns 2 to 500. Please let me know how i can as the second combo replicates the same in first which i dont want
Jelbin
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Dear Jelbin,
Can't handle this. Sorry about that.
crystal
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
4. In the Properties dialog box, you need to: 1). Select False in the AutoWordSelect field; 2). Specify a cell in the LinkedCell field. In this case, we enter A12; Why A12? thank's
Gunawan Budianto
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi,
This cell is optionally selected which can help to finish the whole operation. You can choose any one as you need.
crystal
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I've had an ongoing issue with all documents I've used this method on. A shadow of the drop-down box reappears underneath it each time I click into another cell within the spreadsheet and begin typing. It's beyond just a nuisance because when the shadow drops down, it prevents use of any additional searchable drop-down boxes. Please help!!! This is affecting multiple documents we use throughout our organization.
Al B
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Good day,
Sorry for replying so late. The problem you methoded does not appear in my case.Would be nice if you could provide your Office verson. Thank you!
crystal
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
is there a way to have the search box put the top result if left blank? in the case of this example it would automatically put china if it was left blank
dave
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Dear dave,
Would you please provide a screenshot of your spreadsheet showing what you are exactly trying to do?
crystal
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, thanks for the tutorial! I'm having an issue where every time I type in the combo box, "DropDownList1" disappears from the "ListFillRange" property. So long as I don't type in the box, if I retype "DropDownList1" in the property, the box does show suggestions. I have looked everything over and could not find any errors. Is this a common problem, and is there a way to fix it? Thank you for your time!
Ben Johnston
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Dear Ben,
I am also comfusing about the disappearing of the "DripDownList" from the "ListFillRange" property
But it does not influence the finally rsult of making the drop-down list seachable.
crystal
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I feel dumb, but immediately after posting, I realized I probably hadn't added the 1 to DropDownList1 in the VBA, and sure enough that was the problem! Thanks anyway!
Ben Johnston
There are no comments posted here yet
Load More
Leave your comments
Posting as Guest
×
Rate this post:
0  Characters
Suggested Locations