In the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program, if you wish to create a dropdown list where a user can select options from the list for a cell's value, you can take the steps below:
- Highlight the cells where you wish to have the the dropdown list appear, e.g., by clicking in a cell and dragging downwards through a column where a user should select from the dropdown list.
- Click on Data on the menu bar at the top of the Excel window
- Click on Data Validation.
- If you see 3 options under Data Validation, i.e., Data Validation, Circle Invalid Data, and Clear Validation Circles, select Data Validation.
- You will then see a window where you can change settings. In the "Allow" field for validation criteria, select List.
- You will then be given an option to provide the items for the list in the source field. If you have just a couple of options for the list that won't change, you can type them separated by a comma.
- Click on OK.
In cells where you have chosen to present a dropdown list to a user, when the user clicks on the cell or tabs into it, he/she will see a small box with a downward pointing arrowhead appear to the right of the cell. The user can then either type a value in the field or he/she can chose a value from the dropdown list by clicking on the small box with the downard pointing arrowhead. If the user types a value that isn't in the list rather than selecting from the dropdown list, when the user hits enter or moves the cursor out of the cell, he/she will see the message "The value you entered is not valid. A user has restricted values that can be entered in this cell."
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