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Data Validation

How to use data validation for dropdown lists


If you are creating spreadsheets where others will be entering data, you may want to make the data entry as automated and error proof as possible. One of the ways to do this is to set up data validation on appropriate cells/columns. For example, instead of having someone type in the department where someone works, I create a list for of all of the departments so that I can make sure that they have the correct, updated department names.

To do this, select the cells that you would like to add the data validation. Next, click on the Data tab and then the “Data Validation” button. A dialog box will open. On the Settings tab, under Allow, choose List. Then, under Source, either select the cells with the department names or type them in yourself (with commas separating each department name). If you would like to add an input message or error alert message, there are separate tabs in this same dialog box. After you click OK, you will have an in-cell drop down list available.

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