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How to make drop down list allowing free text (manually entry) in Excel?

For the cells with created data validation drop down lists, you are not allowed to enter some different text beyond the list values, when you typing in words which do not include in the list value, the error dialog box will pop up. See screenshot:

In some cases, you may need to enter some certain words into the cells as you need. To avoid popping up the error dialog box, you need to disable the Error Alert function for the drop down list.

Make drop down list allowing free text in Excel

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Make drop down list allowing free text in Excel

Please do as follows to make drop down list allowing free text.

1. Select the cells which contain the drop down lists you have already created, and then click Data > Data Validation. See screenshot:

2. In the Data Validation dialog box, uncheck the Show error alert after invalid data is entered box under Error Alert tab, then click the OK button.

Then you can enter free text into the cells containing drop down lists without getting the error alert.


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    PeterR · 2 years ago
    You can also keep the error alert checked, but change the style from "Stop" into "Warning" with a message.