Creating a Drop-Down List in a Cell

This tip will show you how to display a drop-down list in a cell.
Drop-down list in Excel 2016

To create your own drop-down list for some cell, do the following:

    1.    Enter the list of items in a range.

    2.    Select the cell that will contain the drop-down list (cell B2, in this example).

    3.    On the Data tab, in the Data Tools group, click Data Validation:

Data Tools group in Excel 2016

    4.    In the Data Validation dialog box, on the Settings tab:

Data Validation in Excel 2016
  • In the Allow drop-down list, select List.
  • In the Source box, specify the range that contains the items (In this example, the range is E1:E8).
  • Make sure that the In-Cell Dropdown option is checked.

    5.    Click OK.


  • If your list is short, you can avoid Step 1. Rather, just type your list items (separated by commas) in the Source box in the Data Validation dialog box:
    List of Data Validation in Excel 2016
  • If you plan to share your workbook with others who use Excel 2007 or earlier, make sure that the list is on the same sheet as the drop-down list. Alternatively, you can use a named range.