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Creating a Drop Down List in Excel Using Data from a Different Workbook

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Excel Drop Down List Overview
Using Data from a Different Workbook

Using Data from a Different Workbook

© Ted French

Excel Drop Down List Overview

Excel's data validation options include creating a drop down list that limits the data that can be entered into a specific cell to a pre-set list of entries.

When a drop-down list is added to a cell, an arrow is displayed next to it. Clicking on the arrow will open the list and allow you to select one of the list items to enter into the cell.

The data used in the list can be located:

Tutorial: Using Data Stored in a Different Workbook

In this tutorial we will create a drop down list using a list of entries located in a different workbook.

Advantages for using a list of entries located in a different workbook include centralizing list data if it is used by multiple users and protecting the data from accidental or intentional change.

Note: When the list data is stored in a separate workbook both workbooks must be open in order for the list to work.

Following the steps in the tutorial topics below walks you through creating, using, and changing the drop down list similar to the one seen in the image above.

These tutorial instructions, however, do not include formatting steps for the worksheets.

This will not interfere with completing the tutorial. Your worksheet will look different than the example on page 1, but the drop down list will give you the same results.

Tutorial Topics

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