How To Create a Drop Down List in Excel

Drop-down lists are a powerful tool in Excel that allows users to select options from a predefined list, making data entry more efficient and consistent. Whether you want to create a drop-down list for data validation or to streamline data entry, Excel provides a straightforward method to implement this feature. So, in this article, we will guide you through the steps to create a drop-down list in Excel.

How To Create a Drop-Down List in Excel?

To create a drop-down list in Excel, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and open the workbook where you want to create the drop-down list.
  2. Select the cell or range of cells which you want to add to the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  4. Click on the “Data Validation” button. This will open the Data Validation dialog box.
  5. In the Data Validation dialog box, select the “Settings” tab.
  6. In the “Allow” dropdown, choose “List.”
  7. Now, you have two options to define the list source:
  8. Type the values directly in the “Source” box, separating them with commas. For example: “Option 1, Option 2, Option 3.”
  9. Alternatively, you can select a range of cells that contains the values you want to include in the drop-down list. To do this, click on the “Collapse Dialog” button (the small box icon) next to the “Source” box. Then, select the range of cells in your worksheet that contains the values for the drop-down list. Click the “Expand Dialog” button to return to the Data Validation dialog box.
  10. Ensure the “In-cell dropdown” option is checked if you want the drop-down arrow to appear directly in the cell.
  11. Click “OK” to close the Data Validation dialog box.
  12. The selected cell(s) will now have a drop-down list based on the values you specified.
  13. You can copy and paste the cell(s) with the drop-down list to other cells in the same column or row to apply the same list to multiple cells.

That’s it! You have successfully created a drop-down list in Excel. Now, when you click on the cell(s) with the drop-down list, then you will see a drop-down arrow. So, clicking on the arrow will display the available options you defined.


Creating drop-down lists in Excel is a simple yet effective way to streamline data entry and ensure data consistency. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily create drop-down menus in Excel and enhance your spreadsheet’s usability. Whether you’re managing data or creating interactive forms, drop-down lists provide a valuable tool for efficient data input and analysis in Excel.

Tim R
Tim R
This is Tim, your friendly neighborhood tech geek. With a passion for all things geeky, I'm here to share the latest tech scoop and unravel the mysteries of the digital world. From gadgets to innovations, I've got you covered with my insightful and down-to-earth articles. So buckle up and get ready to embark on an exciting journey through the ever-evolving realm of technology!

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