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How to fill drop-down list cells with only colors and not texts in Excel?

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2022-07-04

In some cases, you may use the stoplight colors to report the status of a project. For example, in the project management table below, Green represents good, Yellow represents at risk, and Red represents off track. Using colors to report the status of projects is an intuitive way to manage projects. Also, you want to display only the color in cells without the corresponding texts. This article provides two methods to help you accomplish this task.

Fill drop-down cells with colors and not texts with conditional formatting
Fill drop-down cells with colors and not texts with an amazing tool


Fill drop-down cells with colors and not texts with conditional formatting

In fact, using conditional formatting rules only helps to assign colors to corresponding texts in a range. To display only colors without texts in drop-down list cells, you need to change the formatting of the cells.

1. Firstly, you need to create a drop-down list in cells of the Status column.

Note: If you have created the drop-down list in the cells, skip this step.

1.1 Select cells (G7:G13 in this case) in the Status column, click Data > Data Validation > Data Validation.
1.2 In the opening Data Validation dialog box and under the Settings tab, you need to:
1.2.1 Choose List in the Allow box;
1.2.2 Click the Source box, then select the entries you want to appear in your drop-down list. Or you can manually type in the entries and separate them by commas;
1.2.3 Click the OK button.

2. Keep the drop-down list cells selected, click Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Equal To.

3. In the Equal To dialog box, you need to configure as follows.

3.1) In the first box, select the cell that contains the value you will assign with the certain color, here I select A2, or you can enter the value manually in the box;
3.2) Select Custom Format in the with drop-down list.

4. In the Format Cells dialog box, go to the Fill tab, specify a background color, and then click OK to save the settings.

5. Click OK when it returns to the Equal To dialog box.

6. Repeat the steps above from 2 to 5 to assign colors to other values.

By default, when selecting a value in a drop-down list, the value will be populated in the cell. In our case, both the color and the text will be displayed in the drop-down list cells. You need to change the cell format to hide the cell values and only keep the colors.

7. Select the drop-down list cells, right click and select Format Cells in the context menu.

8. In the Format Cells dialog box and under the Number tab, you need to:

8.1) Select Custom in the Category box;
8.2) Enter three semicolons (;;;) into the Type textbox;
8.3) Click OK.

Now you can fill the drop-down list cells with only colors without texts.


Fill drop-down cells with colors and not texts with an amazing tool

In the above method, creating conditional formatting rules for each value in a drop-down list is very time-consuming. Here we introduce to you the Colored Drop-down List feature of Kutools for Excel. With this feature, you can easily assign different colors to drop-down list entries, then change the formatting of the cells manually to hide the cell values and keep only colors.

1. Select the drop-down list cells where you will assign colors to the drop-down entries.

2. Click Kutools > Drop-down List > Colored Drop-down List.

3. In the Colored Drop-down list dialog box, please make the following settings.

3.1) Select a drop-down entry in the List Items box (by default, all drop-down entries are listed);
3.2) In the Select color section, specify a color for the selected entry;
3.3) Repeat the above steps until all entries are assigned with colors;
3.4) Click OK. See screenshot:

All drop-down entries in the selected range are now assigned with different colors.

4. Select all drop-down list cells, right click and select Format Cells in the context menu.

5. In the Format Cells dialog box and under the Number tab, you need to:

5.1) Select Custom in the Category box;
5.2) Enter three semicolons (;;;) into the Type textbox;
5.3) Click OK.

Now you can fill the drop-down list cells with only colors without texts.

  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.

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