How to set/show preselected value for drop down list in Excel?
In default, the general drop down list you created is show blank before you choosing one value from the list, but in some cases, you may want to show or set a preselected value/default value for the drop down list before users selecting one from the list as bellow screenshot shown. Here this article can help you.
Set default value (preselected value) for drop down list with formula
To set default value for the drop down list, you need to create a general drop down list first, and then use a formula.
1. Create a drop down list. Select a cell or a range that you want to place the drop down list, here is K1, and click Data > Data Validation. See screenshot:
2. Then in the Data Validation dialog, under Settings tab, select List from Allow list, and then select the value you want to show in the drop down list to Source textbox. See screenshot:
3. Then click Error Alert tab in the Data Validation dialog, and uncheck Show error alert after invalid data is entered option. see screenshot:
4. Click OK to closed the dialog, and go to the drop down list, and type this formula =IF(J1="", "--select--") into it, and press Enter key. See screenshot:
Tip: In the formula, J1 is a blank cell next to the K1, make sure that the cell is blank, and "--select--" is the preselected value you want to show, and you can change them as you need.
5. Then keep the drop down list cell selected, and click Data > Data Validation to show Data Validation dialog again, and go to Error Alert tab, and check Show error alert after invalid data is entered option back. See screenshot:
7. Click OK, now before users select values from the drop down list, there is a default value shown in the specified cell with drop down list.
Note: While a value is selected from the drop down list, the default value disappears.
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