Data Entry made easier and quicker with the help of Drop Down List

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular computer programs used in the workplace today. Micrsoft Excel is the most widely used spreadsheet programs which offers some amazing tools which can be used by business organisations to enhance their efficiency and productivity.

Excel offers a number of unique features and one such feature is creating a drop down list.

A Drop down list is a feature which facilitates the preparation of reports and dashboards. Data entry becomes a lot easier and quicker when you use Drop down lists. Also, it provides more accurate results since entries made are restricted to the extent of the values mentioned in the drop down list.

You can follow the steps given below to create a Drop down list:

For example: You would like to create a list of Microsoft Office Specialist (2013) certifications offered by Microsoft.

Step 1:

On a new worksheet type the entries which you want to display in your list.

Note: The entries should be made in a single row or a column without any blanks.

The following figure shows the list created in the cells A1:A9 in the new work sheet.

Step 2:

Select the cell in which you want the drop down list to appear. Select Data menu and then click select Data Validation option.

The following figure shows the Data Validation option in the Data menu.

When you select the Data Validation option the following Dialogue box will appear.

Under Settings, select List from Allow options. Then, under Source, drag the mouse pointer to highlight the cells A1:A9.

Click OK.

Step 4:

 If you want a pop up message to display when a particular cell is selected, then you may select Input Message option in the Drop down dialogue box.

Place a checkmark on Show input messsage when cell is selected.

Enter the desired Title and the Input message which you want to be displayed.

Step 5:

If you want an error alert message to appear then you may select Error Alertoption from the Data Validation dialogue box.

Place a checkmark on Show error alert after invalid data is entered.

Enter the desired Title and the Error message which you want to be displayed and then click OK.

Once you complete all the steps, you will see the Drop Down list created in cell D1.


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FAME is a leading Accountancy training provider. FAME brings together under one roof a wide range of accounting courses blended with real world experience and practical application. FAME aims to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical challenges that accountants face in their day to day working. We provide practical workplace skills for finance staff meeting the needs of employers, bankers, government and learners, both now and in the future. Our students are integral to the success of an organisation and at the heart of ensuring the smooth running of an accounting department.