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How to show the first item in the drop down list instead of blank?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2016-07-28
doc drop down list default to top 1

The drop down list in a worksheet may help us to make data entry easier, we just need to select the items without typing them one by one. But, sometime, when you click the drop down list, it jumps to the blank items first instead of the first data item as following screenshot shown, this may be caused by deleting the source data at the end of the list. It may be annoying that you have to scroll back to the top of a long list for each blank data validation cell. This article, I will talk about how to always show the first item in the drop down list.

Show the first item in drop down list instead of blank with Data Validation function

Automatically show the first item in drop down list instead of blank with VBA code


arrow blue right bubble Show the first item in drop down list instead of blank with Data Validation function

Actually, to achieve this job, you just need to apply a specific formula when you create a drop down list, please do as follows:

1. Select the cells where you want to insert the drop down list, and click Data > Data Validation > Data Validation, see screenshot:

doc drop down list default to top 2

2. In the popped out Data Validation dialog box, under the Settings tab, choose List from the Allow section, and then enter this formula: =OFFSET(Sheet3!$A$1,0,0,COUNTA(Sheet3!$A:$A)-1,1) into the Source text box, see screenshot:

Note: In this formula, Sheet3 is the worksheet contains the source data list, and A1 is the first cell value in the list.

doc drop down list default to top 3

3. Then click OK button, now, when you click the drop down list cells, the first data item always displayed at the top whether there are cell values deleted at the end of the source data, see screenshot:

doc drop down list default to top 4


arrow blue right bubble Automatically show the first item in drop down list instead of blank with VBA code

Here, I can also introduce a VBA code which can help you to show the first item in the drop down list automatically when you click the data validation cells.

1. After inserting the drop down list, select the worksheet tab which contains the drop down list, and right click to choose View Code from the context menu to go to the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window , and then copy and paste the following code into the Module:

VBA code: Automatically show the first data item in drop down list:

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
'Updateby Extendoffice 20160725
    Dim xFormula As String
    On Error GoTo Out:
    xFormula = Target.Cells(1).Validation.Formula1
    If Left(xFormula, 1) = "=" Then
        Target.Cells(1) = Range(Mid(xFormula, 1)).Cells(1).Value
    End If
Out:
End Sub

doc drop down list default to top 5

2. Then save and close the code window, and now, when you click the drop down list cell, the first data item will be displayed at once.

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Comments (10)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
=OFFSET(Sheet3!$A$1,0,0,COUNTA(Sheet3!$A:$A)+2-1,1) I added +2 to the equation and that worked for me.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
For the VDA code, how can I have only a certain cell range show the first item in the drop down list? Thank you in advance.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, Akrupa,To solve your problem, maybe the following VBA code can help you:

<div data-tag="code">Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
'Updateby Extendoffice 20211206
Dim xFormula As String
Dim xRg As Range
Dim xStr As String
Dim xIndex As Integer
xIndex = 2 'Here indicates the cell number of the original data,for example,the original data is A1:A10, to display the A2 cell value, please write 2 here.
On Error GoTo Out:
xFormula = Target.Cells(1).Validation.Formula1
If Left(xFormula, 1) = "=" Then
If Target.Value <> "" Then Exit Sub
xStr = Mid(xFormula, 2)
Set xRg = Application.Range(xStr)
Target.Cells(1) = xRg.Cells(xIndex).Value
End If
Out:
End Sub
Please try, hope it can help you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Better but not quite. Using the =OFFSET(Sheet3!$A$1,0,0,COUNTA(Sheet3!$A:$A)-1,1) method eliminates the blanks but still starts you at the bottom of the very long list. I want it to start at the top of the list.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Once again, you save the day! Thanks!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Doesn't work for me. I keep getting an error message that says, "There's a problem with this formula. Not trying to type a formula? When the first character is an equal (+) or minus (-) sign, Exel thinks it's a formula.... To get around this, type an apostrophe (') first..."
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