Create an in-cell drop-down list

Create drop-down lists in a cell with Google Sheets.

Create a drop-down list

  1. In Google Sheets, open a spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cell or cells in which you want to create a drop-down list.
  3. Select an option:
    • Enter '@'. From the menu, under the components section, click 'Drop-downs'.
      • Tip: You can also insert preset drop-downs for use cases such as 'Project status' or 'Priority'.
    • At the top, click Insert and then Drop-down.
    • Click Data and then Data validation and then Add rule .
    • Right-click on a cell and then Drop-down.
  4. On the data validation rules panel, under 'Criteria', select an option:
    • Drop-down from a range: Choose the cells to include in the list.
    • Drop-down: Enter the drop-down value.
      • Click Add another item to add additional drop-down values.
  5. Optional: If you enter data in a cell that doesn't match an item on the list, it is rejected. If you want people to be able to enter items not from the list:
    1. Click Advanced options.
    2. Under 'If the data is invalid:', select Show a warning.
  6. Click Done.

Turn drop-down chip suggestions on or off

  1. In Google Sheets, open a spreadsheet.
  2. At the top, click Tools and then Suggestion controls and then Enable drop-down chip suggestions.

Create a drop-down list in cells with existing data

  1. In Google Sheets, open a spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cell or cells with existing data.
  3. Right-click and then Drop-down.
    1. If a selected cell includes an existing drop-down, other cell values are appended to the selected drop-down list rule.
    2. Drop-down options are created in the order of the ranges that are selected. The order of options goes down columns first, then across rows.
    3. Optional: To add more drop-down values:
      1. Go to the data validation rules panel.
      2. Under 'Criteria', click Add another item.
  4. Optional: If you enter data in a cell that doesn't match an item on the list, it is rejected. If you want people to be able to enter items not from the list:
    1. Click Advanced options.
    2. Under 'If the data is invalid:', select Show a warning.
  5. Click Done.

Change or delete a drop-down list

Important: If you delete a value with an assigned colour from the criteria source range when the drop-down is populated from a range, the value and colour will still appear under criteria but as uneditable. To remove the value from the list, change the source range or any other item's colour.

  1. In Google Sheets, open a spreadsheet.
  2. Select the cell or cells that you want to change, then select an option:
    • Click Data and then Data validation.
    • Click the drop-down and then Edit button .
  3. Edit the drop-down list:
    • To change the options listed, edit the items under 'Criteria'.
    • To delete a list, select an option:
      • Click Remove rule.
      • If cells are empty, select the cells. Then, press the backspace key.
      • If cells are empty, select the cells. Then, click Edit and then Delete and then Values.
    • To change the display style, click Advanced options. Then, under 'Display style', select either:
      • Chip
      • Arrow
      • Plain text
  4. Click Done. If you change the content of the range that you have selected, the changes are made to the list automatically.
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