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How to Create a Drop-Down List in Excel?

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Microsoft Excel enables users to format, organize and calculate data in a spreadsheet. Organizing data using software like Excel, data analysts, and other users can make information easier to view as data is added or changed. Excel is very easy to make changes in the data using Kutools. It also helps to format and filter a wide range of data. What is meant by Kutools? Kutools for Excel provides add-ins that enhance built-in functions for Microsoft Excel. Its features include combining sheets, merging cells without losing data, pasting to only visible cells, counting cells by color, and performing batch operations.

Drop-down List box

Drop-down list box – A drop-down list (abbreviated drop-down, or DDL; also known as a drop-down menu, drop menu, pull-down list, or pick-list) is a graphical control element, similar to a list box, that allows the user to choose one value from a list. Drop-down list boxes are of two types: one is used for navigation, and the other is used in forms. Drop-down menus can save users time for large websites by allowing them to jump down a level or two to get to the content they seek. Entering data is quick and more accurate when you use a drop-down list to limit people’s entries in a cell. When someone selects a cell, the drop-down list’s down arrow appears, and they can click it and make a selection. You can make a worksheet more efficient by providing drop-down lists. The drop-down list box plays a vital role in Excel while completing work effortlessly in the wide range of data selections. In this article, you can learn how to create a Drop-down list box in Excel using Kutools.

Generate a Drop-Down List in Excel using Kutools

  • It would help if you opened the spreadsheet where we want to create a drop-down list box.
  • First, you must install the Kutools software for Excel to perform several operations easily in Excel.
  • Next step, On the Menu bar, select the Kutools tab > Drop-Down List and choose to Create simple drop-down list option.
Selecting the Drop-down List option
  • It will navigate you to the Create simple drop-down list dialog box.
Selecting the reference cell value or range
  • Hereafter, you have to specify the two options listed below:
  • Apply to box – Select the range of cells to insert a new drop-down list.
  • Source box – Select the data you entered source column.
  • When you click the OK button.
List of values in Drop-down list box
  • A New Drop-down list will be generated based on your data.
Drop-down List Box
  • You can preview your created drop-down list box in the Create simple drop-down list dialog box.
Preview panel

Note: You can also type your data values such as Apple, Orange, Grapes, and Banana. (Comma-separated values) by selecting Custom Lists.

Remove a Drop-Down List in Excel using Kutools

  • You can also remove the Drop-down list box, already created in Excel.
  • If you want to remove the drop-down list from the range, Select the drop-down list range from your worksheet.
  • On the Kutools tab, click Prevent typing option.
Selecting the Clear Data Validation Restrictions option
  • And then, choose the Clear Data Validation Restrictions option from the drop-down menu.
  • After clicking the option, the drop-down list box will be automatically removed.

Real-time Examples

Excel drop-down lists have a wide range of real-time applications in various fields. Here are some examples:

  • Financial analysis: In financial modeling, drop-down lists can be used to select different financial scenarios. For example, if you’re modeling a company’s revenue, you can create a drop-down list of revenue growth rates to see how they affect its overall financials.
  • Project management: Drop-down lists can be used to assign tasks to team members. For example, if you’re managing a project with multiple team members, you can create a drop-down list of all team members and assign tasks to them based on their availability and expertise.
  • Survey analysis: In surveys, drop-down lists can create closed-ended questions where participants select from a pre-defined set of options. It makes it easier to analyze and compare responses.
  • Inventory management: In inventory management, drop-down lists can be used to select items from a pre-defined list of products, making tracking inventory levels and managing stock easier.
  • Data entry: A drop-down list can be used to ensure consistency and accuracy in data entry. For instance, if you’re collecting data on employee departments, you can create a drop-down list of all the departments and their corresponding codes. It will eliminate typos and ensure that all entries are consistent.

Overall, drop-down lists in Excel are a powerful tool for simplifying data entry, improving accuracy, and enhancing productivity in various fields.

Drawbacks of a Drop-down list box

There are limits to the number of items in a data validation drop-down list: The list can show 32,767 items from a list on the worksheet. If you type the items into the data validation dialog box (a delimited list), the limit is 256 characters, including the separators. In this case, we can use another drop-down list option to use an ActiveX combo box. It is similar to the Forms Control combo box but has more properties to adjust. After you insert a combo boxright-click the combo box, and click Properties.


In this article, creating a drop-down list in Excel is a useful feature that allows users to select options from a pre-defined list, improving data accuracy and saving time. It can be achieved using the Data Validation feature in Excel, which allows you to specify a range of cells containing the list of options and then assign that range to the drop-down list.

Video Tutorials

From the above article with demonstration, you have a clear-cut idea of creating a Drop-Down List in Excel. Additionally, these videos help you to gather more information and are very efficient.

Generating a Drop-Down List Box
Removing a Drop-Down List box


What is the use of drop-down lists in Excel?

Data entry is quicker and more accurate when you use a drop-down list to limit people’s entries in a cell.

What is Kutools?

Kutools for Excel provides add-ins that enhance built-in functions for Microsoft Excel.

How do I insert a dynamic expanding drop-down list in Excel?

Say you have a list of items for the drop-down starting in cell A1 and listed down the column (A2, A3, etc.). Create a new name that refers to =OFFSET(Sheet1!$a$1,0,0,COUNTA($a:$a),1). Then in the cell you want the drop-down, have it refer to that name. The “COUNTA” is counting how many items are in column A. The OFFSET starts in cell A1 and refers to however many items are listed in column A. It allows your drop-down to adjust for the number of items on the list.

Why should I use a drop-down list box in Excel?

A drop-down list is an option where the data is shown up in a list from which we can choose data.

What is Excel Data validation?

Excel Data Validation is a feature that restricts (validates) user input to a worksheet. Technically, you create a validation rule that controls what kind of data can be entered into a cell.

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