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How to insert drop down list in Excel?

Inserting drop-down list is a frequently-used operation while working in Microsoft Excel. This article will show you detailed steps for inserting a drop-down list in selected cells in Excel.

Insert drop-down list in Excel


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Insert drop-down list in Excel


1. Create a list of data that you want to use in the drop down list.

2. Select a range of cells you need to locate the drop down list.

3. Then click Data > Data Validation > Data Validation. See screenshot:

4. In the popping up Data Validation dialog box, you need to do as follows:

4.1 Select List from the Allow drop down list under the Settings tab.

4.2 Click the doc-replace-range-names-7 button to select the list of data you have created in step 1. Click the OK button to finish the setting.

Now the drop down list is creared and located in the cells you have selected in step 2. See screenshot:

Note: the drop-down arrow is visible only when the cell is active.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Tom · 1 years ago
    Perfect! Simple screen shots made building the drop down easy.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Jules · 2 years ago
    I was able to follow these steps and create a drop down list, however, when I save and exit, the next time I open the spreadsheet the drop down list is no longer there. How do I get it to save?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sunil · 2 years ago
    That's good example.... :P
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Accountant · 2 years ago
    How do I create a drop downlist with a Description that is different than my returned value?

    For Example: Description in List is - "ABG Interests"
    But I only want to return - "ABG" to the Cell

    Thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Laura Lee · 2 years ago
    After I have created my drop down box with a description of different types of equipment, can I have in another column (a rate for each piece of equipment) automatically generate. If so can you please let me know how to do this.