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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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Comments (7)
Rated 1 out of 5 · 1 ratings
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
kalo setting validate nya tetep dari D1:D10 ya percuma pak.
kalau isiannya jadi 11 kan jadinya ada yg gak masuk list.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Fadli,

Sorry, I don't quite understand your question. This trick helps to extract all the values from the list, excluding the blank ones. You need to make sure that all values are extracted and then create a dropdown list based on the extracted values.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hilft leider nicht weiter, wenn man die Anzahl an Zeilen nicht kennt.
In meinem Fall habe ich eine Liste mit bis zu 40 Einträgen und aus einer der Spalten soll ein Drop-Down-Feld erstellt werden. Da ich aber nicht weiß wieviel Einträgen das sind muss ich immer noch, wenn sich die Liste ändert, das Drop-Down-Feld neu erzeugen und das für über 100 Listen jede Woche neu. Da hilft dann auch kein VBA, denn das kann zwar die Zeilen herausfinden, aber bei Änderungen (in mehr Einträge fehlen die neuen, in weniger Einträge sind am Ende wieder Leerzeilen) muss das VBA-Makro auch ständig wieder ausgeführt werden.
Rated 1 out of 5
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
The idea of having to create a second column seems a work around a defective option. The check box right beside the allow option says to ignore blanks. What is the real function of this check box if it does NOT ignore the blanks.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
<p>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.</p><p>Many thanks</p>
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
<p>The function works perfectly for me, but I still have one question.</p><p>how do i make this work?</p><p>Many thanks</p>
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