MS-Excel / Excel 2003

Data entries from a list

Enabling users to do data entry by selecting the data from an in-cell drop-down list is one of the most popular uses for the data validation feature. Not only does this type of data validation prevent users from selecting an invalid entry, but it also enables them to make a correct entry without having to do any typing.

To use the data validation List setting to restrict the data entry in this new table to any of the cities on this list, then followed these steps:

  1. Position the cell pointer in the first blank cell to use this data validation setting (B3 in this example).
  2. Choose Data → Validation to open the Data Validation dialog box with the Settings tab selected.
  3. Select List in the Allow drop-down list box.
  4. Put the Insertion point in the Source text box and then drag through the range of cells containing the list of valid entries (J3:J7 in this case).
    Because Excel automatically selects the In-cell Dropdown check box, the program will add a drop-down button that reveals this list of cities whenever the user selects the cell.
    To force users to select one of the cities - making it invalid to leave the cell blank - clear the Ignore Blank check box.
  5. Click OK to close the Data Validation dialog box.

After the Data Validation dialog box closes, Excel adds a drop-down button to the right side of the current cell. To select one of the cities on the list from its menu, click this button and then click the name of the city to enter in cell B3.

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