How to Insert a Cell Drop-Down Box in Microsoft Excel

By Greg Lindberg

The Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet application includes a drop-down list feature that can be used to create different types of forms or make it simpler to limit entries specific to items you create in your spreadsheet. Before you utilize the drop-down feature you must create a list of options in a column. Once the drop-down list is created in a single cell box, users can then click on the arrow next to the cell to make the list you created appear. An item can then be select to fill the main cell.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel 2003

Step 1

Open the Microsoft Excel 2003 application on your computer. Enter the data you want for your drop-down box into a single column of your spreadsheet.

Step 2

Click on the cell where you want the drop-down list to begin so that it’s selected. Click on the “Data” option from the top toolbar menu.

Step 3

Click on the “Validation” option and then click on the “Settings” tab. Click on the “List” option from the “Allow” box.

Step 4

Enter the reference for all of the cells to be used in the drop-down list into the “Source” box. Click on the box next to the “In-cell drop-down” field so that it’s selected.

Step 5

Change any other drop-down settings to meet your preferences and then click on the “OK” button. Your drop-down cell box will then be created.

Microsoft Excel 2007

Step 1

Open the Microsoft Excel 2007 application on your computer. Enter a list of data that you want for your drop-down list into a single column of your spreadsheet.

Step 2

Click on the cell where you want your drop-down list to begin so that it’s selected. Click on the “Data” tab and then click on the “Data Validation” option from the “Data Tools” group.

Step 3

Click on the “List” option from the “Allow” box. Click on the “Source” box and then select the column of cells you want for your drop-down list.

Step 4

Click on the box next to the “In-cell dropdown” field so that it’s selected. Make any other changes to the drop-down list settings and your drop-down box will be created in your spreadsheet.