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How to create drop down list with multiple selections or values in Excel?

By default, you can only select one item per time from a data validation drop-down list in Excel. How to make multiple selections from the drop-down list as below screenshot shown? The methods in this article can help you solve the problem.

Create drop down list with multiple selections with VBA code
Easily create drop down list with multiple selections with an amazing tool

More tutorial for drop down list...


Easily select multiple items from the drop-down list in Excel:

The Multi-select Drop Down List utility of Kutools for Excel can help you quickly easily select multiple items from the drop-down list in a range, current worksheet, current workbook or all workbooks. See below demo:
Download the full feature 30-day free trail of Kutools for Excel now!


Create drop down list with multiple selections with VBA code

You can apply the below VBA code to make multiple selections from the drop-down list in a worksheet in Excel. Please do as follows.

1. Open the worksheet you have set data validation drop-down list, right click on the sheet tab and select View Code from the context menu.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, copy the below VBA code into the code window. See screenshot:

VBA code: drop down list with multiple selections

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    'Updated by Extendoffice 2019/11/13
    Dim xRng As Range
    Dim xValue1 As String
    Dim xValue2 As String
    If Target.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xRng = Cells.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeAllValidation)
    If xRng Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    If Not Application.Intersect(Target, xRng) Is Nothing Then
        xValue2 = Target.Value
        Application.Undo
        xValue1 = Target.Value
        Target.Value = xValue2
        If xValue1 <> "" Then
            If xValue2 <> "" Then
                If xValue1 = xValue2 Or _
                   InStr(1, xValue1, ", " & xValue2) Or _
                   InStr(1, xValue1, xValue2 & ",") Then
                    Target.Value = xValue1
                Else
                    Target.Value = xValue1 & ", " & xValue2
                End If
            End If
        End If
    End If
    Application.EnableEvents = True
End Sub

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

Now you can select multiple items from the drop-down list in current worksheet.

Notes:

  • 1. Duplicate values do not allow in the drop-down list.
  • 2. When closing the workbook, the VBA code will be removed automatically, and the multiple selection is unusable anymore. Please save the workbook as an Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook in order to keep the code working in the future.

Easily create drop down list with multiple selections with an amazing tool

Here highly recommended the Multi-select Drop-down List feature of Kutools for Excel for you. With this feature, you can easily select multiple items from the drop-down list in a specified range, current worksheet, current workbook or all opened workbooks as you need.

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

1. Click Kutools > Drop-down List > Multi-select Drop-down List > Settings. See screenshot:

2. In the Multi-select Drop-down List Settings dialog box, please configure as follows.

  • 2.1) Specify the applying scope in the Apply to section. In this case, I select Current worksheet from the Specified Scope drop-down list;
  • 2.2) In the Text Direction section, select an text direction based on your needs;
  • 2.3) In the Separator box, enter a delimiter which you will use to separate the multiple values;
  • 2.4) Check the Do not add duplicates box in the Options section if you don’t want to make duplicates in drop-down list cells;
  • 2.5) Click the OK button. See screenshot:

3. Please click Kutools > Drop-down List > Multi-select Drop-down List to enable the feature.

Now you can select multiple items from the drop-down list in current worksheet or any scope you have specified in step 2.

  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...


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Robert Aguirre · 24 days ago
    I know this may be a total random, but I use a variation of the VBA with no issue. Except on one page, if you select the first three options, it will not let you select the fourth. It will let you select the 5th, 6th, and so on, just not the 4th option. Thoughts?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 19 days ago
      Hi Robert,
      I have tested the code but haven't found the problem as you mentioned. Can you tell me which Excel version are you using? Thank you for your comment.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Okot · 2 months ago
    I cannot proceed with creation of the multiple selection of the drop down list. I have listen to tutorial and read material but still unable to create. Kindly can someone help me out?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Eni · 3 months ago
    Hi, ich bin totaler VBA Laie. Ich versuche den Code so zu modifizieren, dass
    a) die Mehrfachauswahl nicht in allen, sondern nur ein zwei Spalten aktiv ist
    b) ich Items auch wieder rausnehmen kann, zB in dem ich in der Listenauswahl das Item noch einmal anklicke (Beispiel: ich habe über die Mehrfachauswahl ausgewählt: A, D, X, Y... nun fällt mir auf, dass D nicht dazu gehört. Beim aktuellen Code müsste ich Eingaben entfernen und neu auswählen).
    Danke im Voraus!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    wendy · 3 months ago
    I'm using the code below to allow multi-select on multiple worksheets but when I go to another worksheet in the workbook the multi-select goes away. When I save the file and come back in it will work for one tab with the code but again when I click on another tab with the code it no longer works. Any idea how to fix it so if i click on a worksheet with the VBA code it will always allow multi-select?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Randy · 1 years ago
    I'm trying to create 4 columns with drop down lists where I can select multiple values. How do I modify the "drop down list with multiple selections" VBA code so that when I click on a value that has already been entered it removes it from the cell? Thank you in advance.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 1 years ago
      Dear Randy,
      What do you mean "when I click on a value that has already been entered it removes it from the cell?"
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Dez · 1 years ago
        I have the same question. My drop down list does not remember values selected. If someone clicks on a cell that has already been populated (not by them, but someone else) the selected values are cleared and the cell is blank again.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Johnna · 2 years ago
    I created a drop down list where multiple text selections could be chosen such as "nutrition" ,"weight", and "work" for each caller's reason to phone in. I have a summary page where I want to see how many of each reason were indicated in a particular month. What formula would I use to tell Excel to pull out and tally each of these separately in a given month? Currently, the way I have it set up, it only tallies correctly if I have one reason in the cell for each caller.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 2 years ago
      Good Day,
      Sorry can't help you solve this problem. Please let me know if you find the answer.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Nancy · 2 years ago
    I managed to use this code and successfully create multiple selection drop down boxes. It worked when I closed and re-opened on different days. However, now not all of the cells I originally selected are allowing multiple selection. Only ones done previously, despite using the code for the whole spreadsheet. Can you help?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      yesenia · 1 years ago
      the cells are most likely locked, right click on all of them, go to format cells, protection, then uncheck the locked cell option
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Lisa Thompson · 2 years ago
      I'm having the same problem.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Desiree · 2 years ago
    Hi all,

    I could do my drop down list perfectly, but my question is: when I select all the items nedded it goes one after another in an horizontal way through the cell, for example: yellow, green, black, red. But how can I make it look in a vertical way?, more like for example: Orange
    blanck
    yellow
    Red
    Because in horizontal the cell becomes pretty long when selecting lots of items.

    Could you please tell me if there's any way to do this?.

    Thank you,

    Desiree
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Chloe · 2 years ago
    Hi all,

    I have this code on an excel sheet and its cleaning the contents from the drop down list when the cell is selected - I know what part of the code is doing it (the part that says 'fillRng.ClearContents') and I have tried to use some of the above to fix it unsuccessfully... I am new to VBA programming etc. Can anyone offer any help on how to change it so that it when the cell is selected it doesn't clear and entries wont be duplicated please??

    Option Explicit
    Dim fillRng As Range
    Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)

    Dim Qualifiers As MSForms.ListBox
    Dim LBobj As OLEObject
    Dim i As Long

    Set LBobj = Me.OLEObjects("ListBox1")
    Set Qualifiers = LBobj.Object

    If Target.Row > 3 And Target.Column = 3 Then
    Set fillRng = Target
    With LBobj
    .Left = fillRng.Left
    .Top = fillRng.Top
    .Width = fillRng.Width
    .Height = 155
    .Visible = True
    End With
    Else
    LBobj.Visible = False
    If Not fillRng Is Nothing Then
    fillRng.ClearContents
    With Qualifiers
    If .ListCount 0 Then
    For i = 0 To .ListCount - 1
    If fillRng.Value = "" Then
    If .Selected(i) Then fillRng.Value = .List(i)
    Else
    If .Selected(i) Then fillRng.Value = _
    fillRng.Value & ", " & .List(i)
    End If
    Next
    End If
    For i = 0 To .ListCount - 1
    .Selected(i) = False
    Next
    End With
    Set fillRng = Nothing
    End If
    End If

    End Sub
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ramon · 3 years ago
    Hi there,

    Code works fine. However, I can't seem to deselect an item. When I want to remove an item from the selection, it's just not removed. Does anybody else experience this problem too?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      StPaulSue · 2 years ago
      delete the content in the cell, then reselect
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      THG · 3 years ago
      Was there a response to this issue. It is the same issue I am having. There doesn't seem to be a way to remove an item that has been selected.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Charity · 3 years ago
    This works well, but I am unable to remove an item once selected. Any suggestions in case I click on something accidently and need to remove it without (hopefully) clearing the whole cell and starting over?

    Also, for those seeking to define a column or columns, Contextures has a great addition to the code provided here that allows you to do that.
    http://www.contextures.com/excel-data-validation-multiple.html#column
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Nirmala · 2 years ago
      [quote name="Charity"]This works well, but I am unable to remove an item once selected. Any suggestions in case I click on something accidently and need to remove it without (hopefully) clearing the whole cell and starting over?

      Also, for those seeking to define a column or columns, Contextures has a great addition to the code provided here that allows you to do that.
      http://www.contextures.com/excel-data-validation-multiple.html#column[/quote]

      Code works fine. However, I can't seem to deselect an item. When I want to remove an item from the selection, it's just not removed. Does anybody else experience this problem too?[/quote]

      Hi all,

      Any solutions found for this problem..please share..
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    stef · 3 years ago
    Hi I am currently using this formula and all columns with data validation have the multiple selection option now, however I want to restrict the multiple selection only to one column. Can someone edit this formula for me so the multiple selection can be applied only to Column4? Thanks :)

    Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    'Updated: 2016/4/12
    Dim xRng As Range
    Dim xValue1 As String
    Dim xValue2 As String
    If Target.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xRng = Cells.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeAllValidation)
    If xRng Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    If Not Application.Intersect(Target, xRng) Is Nothing Then
    xValue2 = Target.Value
    Application.Undo
    xValue1 = Target.Value
    Target.Value = xValue2
    If xValue1 "" Then
    If xValue2 "" Then
    If xValue1 = xValue2 Or _
    InStr(1, xValue1, ", " & xValue2) Or _
    InStr(1, xValue1, xValue2 & ",") Then
    Target.Value = xValue1
    Else
    Target.Value = xValue1 & ", " & xValue2
    End If
    End If
    End If
    End If
    Application.EnableEvents = True
    End Sub

    Any assistance will be appreciated!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mervyn · 4 years ago
    @Cynthia,

    If still required, you should be able to do something like this to only ensure the code runs on specific columns, in my case, column 34 and 35:

    If (Target.Column 34 And Target.Column 35) Then Exit Sub

    'Put this code at the beginning after your dim statements
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Dhina · 1 years ago
      If Target.Column <> 34 Then Exit Sub

      'Put this code at the beginning after your dim statements
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      CynthiaB · 3 years ago
      [quote name="Mervyn"]@Cynthia,

      If still required, you should be able to do something like this to only ensure the code runs on specific columns, in my case, column 34 and 35:

      If (Target.Column 34 And Target.Column 35) Then Exit Sub

      'Put this code at the beginning after your dim statements[/quote]


      Hi @Mervyn,

      Lost track of the thread completely, but thank you so much for your responses.

      I've tried applying the
      If (Target.Column 34 And Target.Column 35) Then Exit Sub
      (my version reads If (Target.Column4 And Target.Column5) Then Exit Sub
      as you supplied, but am getting a "Run-time error '438': Object doesn't support this property or method"" error on this new line.

      Here are the first few lines of my code:

      Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
      Dim xRng As Range
      Dim xValue1 As String
      Dim xValue2 As String
      If (Target.Column4 And Target.Column5) Then Exit Sub
      If Target.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub

      On Error Resume Next


      My worksheet only has 6 columns: Question | Answer | Category | Sub-Category | Tags | Photo link
      I only need multiple value drop downs in Sub-Category and Tags (columns 4 & 5).

      I'll keep looking for info as you suggested on 12/23, and will look at the link Charity provided.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mervyn · 4 years ago
    Hi Cynthia,

    If the original author doesn't reply, I'll get you an answer but I'll only be in front of a computer on 29 Dec again. I'm also no VBA programmer. What you can do in the mean time is Google search how to identify the column number and only let the code run if data is edited in that specific column(s). I've done it but the code is on my work PC and can't recall it at the moment,maybe try putting a debug.print on target.column or something to that effect to see if it gives you the column number being edited.

    Sorry Jennifer, not sure about the issue you're having :(
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jennifer L Price · 4 years ago
    I was able to get the code to work, but then when I saved the document (with macros-enabled), closed it and returned, the code didn't work anymore (though it was still in there). I can't figure out what I've done wrong. Any ideas?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    CynthiaB · 4 years ago
    Hi. Thank you for the code and the addition to limit duplicates.


    One more request - what addition/change would have to be made in order to allow multiple selection in only one or two specific columns? This code is re-adding lines of text to what should be 'plain' cells if I go to correct a typo, or make a change or addition to the text in the cell, as opposed to just behaving 'normally' and accepting the change (without re-adding the entire text again).

    For instance, column A is a 'plain' column. I write a sentence "What are the three itmes you want most?" Column B is a 'list' column where I only want to be able to pick one single value (in this case, let's say a child's name). Column C is another 'list' column where the user must be able to select multiple items (which this code allows me to do perfectly).

    As I go along, I realize that I've made a typo in column A and want to correct it. As this code stands, if I go in (double click, F2) and make the correction to the word "items", I end up with this result in my cell:"What are the three itmes you want most? What are the three items you want most?"

    thank you in advance for any help (from a user that REALLY likes VBA, but is still at the very earliest stages of learning!)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mervyn · 4 years ago
    Just realised I didn't exit the loop in the new function if the condition has been set so we don't have to check other entries.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mervyn · 4 years ago
    You can change the code in the following lines to prevent the duplicates:
    If xValue2 "" Then
    Target.Value = xValue1 & ", " & xValue2
    End If

    To:
    If xValue2 "" Then
    If CheckIfAlreadyAdded(xValue1, xValue2) = False Then
    Target.Value = xValue1 & ", " & xValue2
    Else
    Target.Value = xValue1
    End If
    End If

    And then add the following function:
    Private Function CheckIfAlreadyAdded(ByVal sText As String, sNewValue As String) As Boolean

    CheckIfAlreadyAdded = False

    Dim WrdArray() As String
    WrdArray() = Split(sText, ",")

    For i = LBound(WrdArray) To UBound(WrdArray)
    If Trim(WrdArray(i)) = Trim(sNewValue) Then CheckIfAlreadyAdded = True
    Next i

    End Function

    --
    There's probably better ways of coding it but it works for now.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    MichaelB · 4 years ago
    It is great that this allows multiple selections but like @Yezdi commented, I am finding it will add one or several duplicates even if I don't choose them.

    So, at present, this is an 80% solution... one tweak away from perfect. I am not a VB coder or I'd offer the solution.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Yezdi Eks · 4 years ago
    Hi,

    Thanks for the solution and the code.

    But the next step is how to make sure that the user
    does not select "duplicate" values from the dropdown list.

    E.g. If there are 4 items in the list -
    orange, apple, banana, peach

    and if the user has already selected "orange", then excel
    should not allow the user to select "orange" OR that option
    should be removed from the remainder of the list.

    Can you please publish the code to accomplish this feature.

    Thanks.

    Yezdi
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      sunshine · 3 years ago
      Hi Yezdi,
      Thank you for your comment. The code was updated and no duplicate values allow in the drop-down list now.

      Thanks.

      Sunshine