How to Create a Drop-Down List in Excel 2007

By Tara Kimball

Microsoft Excel is a versatile tool for reporting, tracking and managing many things in both business and personal applications. If you find yourself populating the same information repeatedly in a spreadsheet, a drop-down list may save you time and hassle. You can generate a drop-down list of frequently used information in any file with just a few simple steps. Drop-down lists provide a streamlined appearance to your file and ensure the information that can be placed in a cell is limited to only the options you select.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel 2007

Step 1

Select the data you want the drop-down menu to contain. This can be any list of information. Highlight those cells and click the "Data" menu. Select "Sort" and "A-Z." This will alphabetize your list.

Step 2

Place your cursor in the cell where you want your drop-down list located. Click the "Data" menu and the "Data Tools" menu. In the "Data Tools" menu, select "Data Validation."

Step 3

Choose "List" in the "Allow" menu of the "Data Validation" dialog box. Click the arrow beside the “Any Value” option to view the options where "List" will be found.

Step 4

Click the button at the very end of the "Source" entry box. This will generate a "Data Validation" dialog box. Select the worksheet where the data is located for your list. Highlight all of the cells you want included in the drop-down list. Click the button at the end of the "Source" entry box to select the cell range. If you do not want the list to be left blank, you should clear the check mark in the the “Ignore Blank” check box in this menu.

Step 5

Select the "Input Message" tab to set an input message that will appear when the list is selected. This will allow you to provide people with an understanding of what you would like them to select in this menu.

Step 6

Select the "Error Alert" tab to set an alert to notify users if they have improperly populated the list or failed to select an option.

Step 7

Select "OK" to populate and publish the drop-down list.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can populate a drop-down list with up to 32,767 total entries. The list capacity will not support more than that.