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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.


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arrow blue right bubble 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.

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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:
doc show preselected value drop down list 2

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:
doc show preselected value drop down list 3

3. Then click Error Alert tab in the Data Validation dialog, and uncheck Show error alert after invalid data is entered option. see screenshot:
doc show preselected value drop down list 4

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:
doc show preselected value drop down list 5

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:
doc show preselected value drop down list 6

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.
doc show preselected value drop down list 7

Note: While a value is selected from the drop down list, the default value disappears.
doc show preselected value drop down list 8



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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    miradek · 2 months ago
    hello, my data is about names and phone numbers. can make it if two names selected in one cells using data validations, the particular name which their name as selected, their phone numbers will be shown next to it.

    help me!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Justin · 6 months ago
    Hello!

    How can I set a data validation list such that if the drop down value in the cell is deleted, the cell will automatically show a default value (i.e. "-Select-")?

    For example, I have a worksheet with multiple drop down lists that I want to show a default value of "-Select-" once the sheet is opened. A user will select values from the lists that will impact the result of calculations throughout the entire spreadsheet. A user may accidentally "delete" the cell contents of the lists. If this happens, rather than the cell becoming blank, I want the cell to show a default value of "-Select-". This scenario occurs in multiple random locations throughout the spreadsheet, not just in one localized place.

    I was able to find the following VBA code so far, but it only applies the concept over a range, rather than just individual cells that contain drop down lists. The problem with what I have coded so far is that every single blank cell in the range ends up with "-Select-" in it. Some of the lists are in ranges, but some are also scattered throughout the sheet. The problem I'm having with my current code is that every single blank cell in the range ends up with "-Select-" in it. I'm trying to get this to apply over the entire worksheet to ONLY cells that are drop down lists.

    Is what I'm trying to accomplish even possible?

    Example file can be found here:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VoO8VgFs3IJ0ALwqfk0i8gt69UE4vEKW/view?usp=sharing

    Example code:

    Option Explicit

    Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim cel As Range
    ' If Target.Cells.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub 'turning this off allows multiple cells to be selected and deleted at the same time
    If Not Intersect(Target, Range("f2:p17")) Is Nothing Then
    For Each cel In Range("f2:p17")
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    If IsEmpty(cel.Value) Then cel.Value = "-Select-"
    Next cel
    End If
    Application.EnableEvents = True
    End Sub


    Thanks in advance!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Justin · 6 months ago
    How can I set a data validation list such that if the drop down value in the cell is deleted, the cell will automatically show the a default value (i.e. "-Select-")?

    For example, I have a worksheet with multiple drop down lists that I want to show a default value of "-Select-" once the sheet is opened. A user will select values from the lists that will impact the result of calculations throughout the entire spreadsheet. A user may accidentally "delete" the cell contents. If this happens, rather than the cell becoming blank, I want the cell to show a default value of "-Select-". This scenario occurs in multiple random locations throughout the spreadsheet, not just in one localized place.

    I was able to come up with the following VBA code so far, but I've only figured out how to apply the concept over a range, rather than just cells that contain a drop down list. The problem with what I have coded so far is that every single blank cell in the range ends up with "-Select-" in it.

    Option Explicit

    Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim cel As Range
    ' If Target.Cells.Count > 1 Then Exit Sub
    If Not Intersect(Target, Range("f2:p17")) Is Nothing Then
    For Each cel In Range("f2:p17")
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    If IsEmpty(cel.Value) Then cel.Value = "-Select-"
    Next cel
    End If
    Application.EnableEvents = True
    End Sub
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Dary · 2 years ago
    The idea is nice, but my problem is that if the dropdown value is deleted, it doesn't revert to the default.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      zaid · 1 years ago
      I also have the same issue , please reply if you solved it
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Scott · 2 years ago
      Exactly!!! I'm having the same issue, have you found a solution?
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Alex · 11 months ago
        You can insert the function in that specific cell using VBA, make sure you call the insert function when workbook is opening.