Excel TIP (Add Data Validation with a Drop-Down List)

 

It is important to be mindful of how you are entering repetitive data in excel. There is nothing worse than trying to validate and modify a column that has the same value written multiple ways! Look at this contact information, where the same state is recorded differently.

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If you needed to filter this list on state you’d have to account for all representations of Texas!

Adding drop down validation is a great way to ensure values will be recorded consistently – and it is super easy to do in excel!

Let’s say Maggie’s Pet Supply sales team is calling a list of pet stores. One of the items they need to capture is the product they are interested in ordering

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Rather than rely on the sales team to capture the correct product name, we can store the list of products as a validation list that can be selected by a drop-down.

  • To do this, add a second sheet to store the list of possible products

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  • Next, highlight the column you want to be able to select the drop-down items
  • Under the Home tab, select ‘Data Validation’

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  • For Validation criteria, allow ‘List’

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  • Click in the Source box and then Click on the Product sheet
  • Highlight the values in the list and select OK

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  • Navigate back to the Call Sheet and you can now select items for your drop down!

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