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How to create drop down list ignore blank cells in Excel?

Let’s say you have a list of values with several blank cells are populated, when you create a data validation drop-down list with this data list, you will find the blank cells are added into the drop-down list even you have checked the Ignore Blank option while creating it. Actually, there is no direct method for you to create drop-down list without the blank cells. In this tutorial, we will provide you a trick with separating the values and blank cells based on the original data, and finally creating a drop-down list for the extracting data.

Create drop down list ignore blank cells in Excel

Create drop down list ignore blank cells in Excel

For example you have below data in a range B2:B13, for creating drop down list without blank cells, first, you can copy and paste the data into a new column without blanks. And then create a drop down list based on this new value list.

1. Apply the following formula to copy and paste only the non-blank cell values, please enter this formula: =LOOKUP("zzzzz",CHOOSE({1,2},"",INDEX(B:B,SMALL(IF($B$1:$B$13<>"",ROW($B$1:$B$13)),ROWS($D$1:D1))))) into a blank cell D1 for example, and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together to get the following result:

Note: In the above formula, B1:B13 is the data list that you want to use. You can change the cell reference to your need.

2. Then select the cell D1, and drag the fill handle down to the range that you want to contain this formula, and all the non-blank cell values have been extracted. See screenshot:

3. Now create you data validation drop down list with this new data list. Select the cells you want to locate the drop down list, then click Data > Data Validation.

4. In the Data Validation dialog box, you need to:

1). Go to the Settings tab, and select List in the Allow drop-down list;
2). Select the cell range with values which you have extracted above in the Source box;
3). Click the OK button. See screenshot:

5. Then the drop-down lists are created immediately without blanks.

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    Leon · 9 months ago

    The function works perfectly for me, but I still have one question. In my case I need to apply the formula for column range 2:2 instead of row range B:B.

    Many thanks

    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      ShenalSilva · 1 months ago
      Suggestion: Just copy and paste with transpose (columns to rows) then press F5 (go to) select special and click on blanks. then delete the cells. 
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Leon · 9 months ago

    The function works perfectly for me, but I still have one question.

    how do i make this work?

    Many thanks