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How to Create a Google Sheets Drop-Down List

Aug 09, 2022

Drop-down lists are perfect for any data entry requirements where you need the user to choose from predefined options such as Yes or No.

Drop-down lists are also excellent for building interactive charts, dashboards, and to-do lists.

This article will teach you how to create a drop-down list in Google Sheets and how you can amend or remove your drop-down list as and when you need.

How to Create a Google Sheets Drop-Down List

How to Add a Drop-Down Menu in Google Sheets Using a Range of Cells

You can build a drop-down list in Google Sheets quickly and easily, using a dataset that is already present in a range of cells.

Perhaps you have a dataset within your sheet, and you need to build drop-downs for multiple cells.

Here's how:

  • Choose the cell or range of cells you want to add to your drop-down list in Google Sheets.

  • Select the Data option from your menu.

  • Select the Data Validation option.

  • From the Data Validation dialog box, ensure the correct cell or cell range is chosen.

  • From the Criteria option, choose the option List from a Range.

  • From the field next to it, input the cell or cell range address that you would like to include in your drop-down menu.

  • Ensure the Show Drop-Down List in Cell option is checked.

  • Hit the Save button.

Now you've got your drop-down lists in the chosen cells. You can select the drop-down icon, and it will show you every option you can choose from.

Once you make your selection, that value gets added to the cell.

How to Add Drop Down List In Google Sheets by Manually Specifying the Items

If you would rather not have a list of items within a range in your Google Sheets worksheet, you have the option to manually enter items instead.

One reason you might want to do this is if you want to include options such as Yes and No, as part of your drop-down list.

Rather than having these options located elsewhere on the sheet, you can simply specify these as part of the drop-down list creation process.

How to Insert Dropdown in Google Sheets

Here are the steps you need to take to create a drop-down list manually:

  • Choose the cell or range of cells you want to add to the drop-down list.

  • Select the Data option from the Google Sheets menu

  • Select the Data Validation settings

  • From the Data Validation dialog box, ensure the correct cell or range of cells is selected. You can amend this in the Data Validation dialog box if needed.

  • From the Criteria option, choose List of Items.

  • From the field next to it, manually enter the items you would like to include in your drop-down list.

  • Ensure the Show Drop Down List In Cell option is checked. If not, you won't be able to see a drop-down icon.

  • Hit Save.

If you have followed all of these steps, the drop-down icon will show you the options in the drop-down.

How to Copy Another Drop-Down List

Once you have added your drop-down list items in Google Sheets, you have the power to copy drop-down lists from one cell to another.

This option is a much quicker way to move drop-down items than typing everything out twice. It also ensures the conditional formatting is the same for both drop-down lists.

Simply choose the cell where your drop-down menu is, then press CTRL and C before pasting it to your designated new cell range.

If you only want to copy the drop-down list and not the formatting rules, follow these steps:

  • Choose the cell containing your drop-down list.

  • Copy the cell

  • Right-click on the cell where you want your duplicate drop-down list.

  • Hover your mouse over the Paste Special option.

  • Select "Paste data validation only."

How to Change or Remove a Drop-Down Menu In Google Sheets

If you decide that you want to change your drop-down list or remove it altogether, it is quick and easy to do so in Google Sheets.

  • Choose the cells that you want to take out of the drop-down list.

  • Select the Data option from the menu.

  • Select Data Validation. This action will open a Data Validation dialog box.

  • From the Data Validation dialog box, ensure the right cell is highlighted. If you want, you can amend the cells from the dialog box as well.

  • Select the Remove Validation option.

  • Select Save.

If you would rather edit the drop-down menu, you can do that by following the same steps.

Google Sheets Drop Down Lists: Summary and Key Takeaways

Now you have all the tools you need to create a drop-down list in Google Sheets. Make sure you take time to practice making drop-down lists in Google Sheets so that you can impress your colleagues at work.

Once you are comfortable making a dropdown list in Google Sheets, be sure to head back to the Simple Sheets blog to learn even more about how to become a master in Google Sheets!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens When You Insert Data That Wasn't in the Drop-Down List?

There are two possible outcomes that can occur, depending on the options you selected when you made your drop-down list. If you chose Reject input, then the data will not stay in the cell. However, if you chose Show warning, a small red triangle will show in the cell to highlight there is invalid data present.

How Do I Alphabetize a Drop-Down List in Google Sheets?

To alphabetize a list in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  • Choose the range you want to sort.

  • Head to Data, then Sort.

  • From the pop-up menu, select Sort A-Z.

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