How to create drop down list with formula

In Excel, you can create a dropdown list that dynamically updates based on a formula. This allows you to have a dropdown list that automatically adjusts as your data changes.

How to Create a Dynamic Dropdown List

  1. Define your formula: Create a formula that calculates the items you want to include in your dropdown list. You can place this formula anywhere in your worksheet.
  2. Name your formula: Give your formula a name that you can use for data validation. To do this, go to the Formulas tab and select Define Name. In the Name Manager dialog box, click New and enter a name for your formula. In the Refers to box, enter the formula you created earlier.
  3. Apply data validation: Select the cell where you want to create the dropdown list and go to the Data tab. Click on Data Validation in the Data Tools group. In the Data Validation dialog box, select List from the Allow dropdown. In the Source field, enter an equal sign followed by the name of the formula you created (e.g., =MyDropdownList).

Optional Enhancements:

  • Add an input message to provide instructions or guidance to users when they select the cell.
  • Configure error messages for handling invalid entries.
  • Use the OFFSET function to create a dynamic dropdown list, especially when your source data is not in a contiguous range.

Example:

Suppose you have a list of products in cells A1 to A10, and you want to create a dynamic dropdown list based on the product category. To do this, you would first create a formula that calculates the product category for each product. For example, the following formula would calculate the product category for the product in cell A1:

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=IF(A1>50,”Category A”,”Category B”)

This formula will return “Category A” if the product price is greater than 50, and “Category B” otherwise.

Next, you would name this formula “ProductCategory”. To do this, go to the Formulas tab and select Define Name. In the Name Manager dialog box, click New and enter “ProductCategory” in the Name box. In the Refers to box, enter the formula you created earlier.

Now, you can apply data validation to the cell where you want to create the dropdown list. Select the cell (e.g., cell B1) and go to the Data tab. Click on Data Validation in the Data Tools group. In the Data Validation dialog box, select List from the Allow dropdown. In the Source field, enter an equal sign followed by the name of the formula you created (e.g., =ProductCategory).

Now, when you click on cell B1, you will see a dynamic dropdown list based on the product categories in your data. If you add or remove products from your data, the dropdown list will automatically update to reflect those changes.

You can use the same approach to create dynamic dropdown lists based on any criteria, such as date, region, or sales representative.