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Quickly create drop down lists with checkboxes in Excel

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2024-03-06

If you're working with drop-down lists in Excel and find yourself limited to selecting only one option per cell, with each new selection replacing the previous one, you may be wondering how to select multiple items at once. The solution? Integrate checkboxes into dropdown lists. Kutools for Excel offers a feature called Drop-down List with Check Boxes that allows you to select multiple items at once by simply checking the checkbox in front of each option. This tool changes the way you interact with drop-down lists, making it easy to add multiple items to a cell.

Advantages of using "Drop-down List with Check Boxes"

  • Multiple Selections:
    The most significant advantage is the ability to select multiple items from a drop-down list within a single cell. This is particularly useful for data entry that require more flexibility than the standard single-selection drop-down list.
  • Quick Item Search Navigation:
    Users can easily find a specific item in a long list by simply typing a keyword in the search box, making navigation and selection faster and more efficient.
  • Customizable Item Separators:
    Users have the freedom to define their own separators between selected items, such as commas, semicolons, spaces, etc...
  • Flexible Display Options:
    The option to display each checked item on a new line within the same cell adds to the clarity and organization of the data. This is particularly useful when dealing with multiple selections that need to be easily distinguishable at a glance.
  • Efficiency and Time Saving data entry:
    It streamlines the process of entering data, especially when you need to select several options from a long list, significantly reducing the time spent on data entry.
  • User-Friendly Interface:
    The intuitive design of checkboxes makes it simple for users of all skill levels to select multiple options without complex workarounds.

Usage of "Drop-down List with Check Boxes"

This section demonstrates the usage of this "Drop-down List with Check Boxes" feature.

Kutools for Excel: Offers more than 300 advanced features to simplify complex Excel tasks, make your work more efficient and productive. Enjoy a 30-day free trial now!

  1. Go to the Kutools tab, select Drop-down List > Drop-down List with Check Boxes.
    Note: Make sure the checkbox before Enable Advanced Drop-down List is checked, otherwise the Drop-down List with Check Boxes will be grayed out and unavailable.
  2. In the Add Checkboxes to the Dropdown List dialog box, make the following configurations.
    1. In the Please select the range containing the dropdown list box, choose the cells with the drop-down list to which you wish to add checkboxes.
    2. Under Separator, enter a delimiter for separating checked items.
    3. Click the OK button. See screenshot:
  3. Now, checkboxes have been added to the dropdown list within the specified range. Clicking any cell in this range will display a list box adjacent to it, allowing you to select multiple items by checking the corresponding checkboxes.
  • Wrap Text After Inserting a Separator: If you check this Wrap Text After Inserting a Separator box, selected items will be displayed on separate lines within the cell. If unchecked, items will appear on a single line.
  • Enable search: If enabled, a search bar appears at the top of the list box, allowing you to easily find items by typing keywords or letters. By default, the search function is case-insensitive and can match characters at any position within an item.
  • There are certain icons in the list box:
    • : Click on this settings icon will open the Add Checkboxes to the Dropdown List dialog box, where you can reconfigure the settings as needed.
    • : By default, this pin icon is highlighted (pressed), causing the list box to automatically appear when a drop-down list cell is selected. To prevent automatic pop-up, click the pin icon to unhighlight (release) it.
    • : Click on this close icon will hide the list box.
  • Some shortcuts are available for this feature:
    • Space: Selecting any item in the list and pressing the Space key will either add or remove that item from the cell.
    • Enter: Pressing the Enter key will save the selected items in the cell and close the list box.
    • Esc: Pressing the Esc button will undo the changes in the cell and close the list box.
    • Delete: Pressing the Delete key will clear the cell content.
    • Ctrl + up/down/left/right key: Pressing Ctrl + up/down/left/right key allows you to move the selected cell up, down, left, or right without closing the list box.
  • The list box can be resized by dragging the lower right corner of the border.
  • The list box can be moved by dragging the blank area on the bottom function bar.
  • If the Pin icon is not pressed, selecting a drop-down list cell with the Drop-down List with Check Boxes feature will show a small box next to it. Click the drop-down arrow within this box to expand the list, or drag the four-sided arrow icon to move the box.


  • To remove the Drop-down List with Check Boxes rules, select Kutools > Drop-down List > Advanced Drop-down List Manager. From there, select the rule for Drop-down List with Check Boxes, click Delete, and then Save to confirm the changes. For more details on using the Advanced Dropdown List Manager, please visit this page.
  • Removing the Drop-down List with Check Boxes rules only affects the checkboxes feature; the original Excel drop-down lists remain functional in your workbook.
  • This feature requires Kutools for Excel to be installed. Advanced drop-down list features from Kutools for Excel will not be accessible in shared workbooks if Kutools is not installed on other users' computers.

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Comments (4)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Sziasztok, engem is az érdekelne, hogy a korábban feltett kérdésekre mi a válasz. Csak ott működik a funkció ahol le van töltve ez az alkalmazás?
Amikor elmentem/bezárom/újra megnyitom a fájlt, nem aktiválja automatikusan! Mi erre a megoldás?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Roland,
This feature only works if you have installed Kutools for Excel.
When you quit/close/reopen the file, this feature is activated automatically.

Please download and install the newest version.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, [kutools drop down list with checkbox] works when activated. When I save/close/re-open the file, it doesn't activate it automatically. What can be done especially if I am sending the file to someone who doesn't have kutools?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Id be curious about this as well. If I send this excel to someone does that mean then need to also have the program installed?
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