By Allen Wyatt for Excel.Tips.Net
Single-Use Drop-Down Lists in Excel
One of the really cool uses for the data validation feature in Excel is the ability to create a single-use drop-down list. This list allows users to select the cell and then select from a list of pre-defined values for that cell. Once the user makes a selection and moves to a different cell, the arrow for the drop-down list disappears.
Start by creating a list of the values that you want available in the drop-down list. You can create this list almost anywhere, but for design purposes it is a good idea to put the list on a different worksheet than the one where the data entry will be.
For example, let’s say that you want a list of employee names. On a new worksheet, enter the employee names in any manner desired. (You probably will want to sort them in some manner.) Select the list and give it a name such as Employees. (To define a name display the Formulas tab of the ribbon and click Define Name in the Defined Names group.) Now, back on the main worksheet, follow these steps:
1. Select the cell where you want the drop-down list to appear.
2. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
3. Click the Data Validation tool in the Data Tools group. Excel displays the Data Validation dialog box, with the Settings tab visible.
4. Using the Allow drop-down list, choose List. (See Figure 1.)
About Excel Tips
The tips and ideas from ExcelRibbon.Tips.Net are designed specifically for users of Excel starting with Excel 2007. You'll find just about everything you need to become productive with the program right away. (If you need help with other versions of Excel, visit the ExcelTips site.)