Working with Excel worksheets can be more efficient and straightforward by using drop-down lists. These lists allow you to create a list of choices that you can select from a given field. Therefore, drop-down lists are a great data entry tool when you want a user to select items from a list you have created instead of typing their values. It helps prevent typing errors when a user does not remember correct spellings of long or complex data.
There are different ways of making drop-down lists and editing them. Please read this article to find steps to be followed to create a drop-down list and still edit it successfully.
Method 1: Creating a drop-down list using the data validation feature and a table
It is the quickest way to create a drop-down list. The steps to be followed are;
1. In a new open Excel worksheet, select the cell to enter the drop-down list title.
2. In a column, type the entries you want to appear in the list. Every item should be ranked in its cell consecutively, going down the column.
3. Convert this list into a table. Click on the first item and hold the shift key while clicking on the list's last item to select all the items. Press the Ctrl + T keys to convert your list into a table.
4. In your worksheet, select an empty cell where you want the drop-down list inserted.
5. from the main toolbar menu, click on the Data tab.
6. Under the Data Tools group, click on the drop-down arrow of Data Validation.
7. From the three given options, select Data Validation to display a dialogue box.
8. On the open dialog box, under the Settings tab, in the Allow box, click on the drop-down arrow and select list. Check the Ignore blank box and In-cell drop-down box.
9. Click on the Source box, and then select the listed range you created.
10. Go to the next tab, which is the Input Message. Check the box Show input message when the cell is selected if you want a message to pop up when the cell is clicked. Fill in the title and message to display when you click the selected cell on the Title and Input Message fields.
11. Next, go to the dialogue box's Error tab and check the Show error alert after invalid data is entered in the box. Select an option from the Style drop-down list and fill in the Title and Error Message boxes on what you want to display in case of an error alert.
12. Click OK. A drop-down list will be created and inserted into the selected cell of your worksheet.
Method 2: Creating a drop-down list manually
1. In a new open Excel worksheet, select the cell that you want to apply the drop-down menu.
2. from the main toolbar menu, click on the Data tab.
3. Under the Data Tools group, click on the drop-down arrow of Data Validation.
4. From the three given options, select Data Validation. A dialogue box will be displayed.
5. On the open dialog box, under the Settings tab, in the Allow box, click on the drop-down arrow and select list. Check the Ignore blank box and In-cell drop-down box.
6. Click on the Source box; manually enter the values or names of the drop-down list. Separate each entry using a comma
7. Follow through steps 10 to 12 of Method 1.
Method 3: creating a drop-down list using the cell range method
All the steps from Method 2 are to be followed. In step 6, under the Source box, click on the first item of your list in the worksheet, drag until you select the last item. The cell range will be displayed in the box.
How to edit a drop-down list in excel
It is easier to edit a drop-down list when the list is inserted into a table. Editing a drop-down list may involve deleting some items from the list and adding other entries. When you do this, the list will automatically be updated. Here is what you have to do;
1. Right-click on the table.
2. If you want to delete one value or name from the list, click the specific item and select Delete.
3. If you want to add other names or values to the list, click on Insert. Choose Table Rows
Above. Choosing this option will create an empty cell. Alternatively, you can click on Data validation and edit the values.
4. Type in the name or value of the item you want to include in the list.
5. Hit Enter to add the item to the table and your list to be updated.
In case of editing a list that you entered manually, you will have to go through all the steps in Method 2. Type in to remove or add new items manually under the Source option.
The steps above educate you on how to create and edit drop-down lists in your Excel worksheet. Using the mentioned steps and methods, you can create multiple lists in your worksheet. Keep in mind that using the data validation tool is the quickest and most reliable method.