Course summary: Working with drop-down lists

Create a drop-down list

You can make a worksheet more efficient by providing drop-down lists. Someone using your worksheet clicks an arrow, and then clicks an entry in the list.

  1. Select the cells that you want to contain the lists.

  2. On the ribbon, click Data > Data Validation.

  3. In the dialog, set Allowto List.

  4. Click in Source, type the text or numbers (separated by commas, for a comma-delimited list) you want in your drop down list, and click OK.

Lock cells to protect them

Your boss wanted you to protect a workbook, but she also wanted to be able to change a few cells after you were done. So, you unlocked some cells. Now your boss is done, so you can lock the cells. Here's how.

  1. Select the cells you want to lock.

  2. Click Home, then click the Format Cell dialog box launcher (the arrow to the right of Alignment in the ribbon).

  3. Click the Protection tab, check the Locked box, and click OK.

  4. Click Review > Protect Sheet or Protect Workbook and reapply protection.

Create input and error messages

To help people decide what drop-down list option to select, and even to let them know that a cell contains a drop-down list, you can create a message that appears when they select a cell. You can add the message to all cells that contain the drop-down list, or just the first cell in a column.

  1. Select the cells that you want to create a message for, and click Data Validation.

  2. On the Input Message tab, check the box next to Show input message when cell is selected.

  3. Type a title if you want. It’ll appear in bold.

  4. Type the message in the Input message box. Now when you click a cell, the message pops up.

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