How to create Dependent Dropdown Lists in Excel (example)

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Marie-Ange Demory

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Excel is not only a useful tool for creating spreadsheets. The truth is that, thanks to its multiple functions, it is also useful for organizing lists of all kinds. The more options we master in Excel, the more practical the different activities become.

As we always say, training in office software is essential to be valuable in today's job market. By being more efficient and practical, we will make companies like us in their offices, fill tempting positions. For all this, today we will teach you how to create dependent drop-down lists in Excel.

Don't limit yourself to this software, try reading our guides for the entire Microsoft Office suite. As you practice and memorize their content, you will advance at an amazing pace.

Well, the Office family interfaces are quite similar, meaning practicing one will improve your skills in the others. The important thing is that you go at your own pace, consulting the tutorials whenever necessary.

Note that, to perform the steps as you read, you must have downloaded and installed Microsoft Excel from its official website. Although it is a paid program, it will represent a great enhancer for your resume, so we recommend you to acquire it as soon as possible, from Microsoft Corporation's official website.

In addition, it would be useful to already have a minimum knowledge of some basic tools.

What is Excel?

Going back to what we said at the beginning, Excel is a spreadsheet, yes, but, since it has so many options, it becomes useful for all kinds of businesses. You can use it, for example, to create double-axis charts or all kinds of graphs, diagrams to help you organize or, as in this case, drop-down lists of employees.

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The possibilities are as many as your creativity allows. So we insist on experimenting on our own after seeing the contents of the guides.

What are employee drop-down lists?

It's quite simple. They are those lists where you click on a certain category and the options belonging to that category are automatically displayed. They allow you to make more practical accommodations without seeing a lot of data at first.

How to create dependent drop-down lists in Excel?

The first thing you will do is to log in to your Microsoft Excel. Already in the document, you will have to enter the data you want to list. You can fill as many columns as you want and place your items in the cells below the one with the column name, as shown below.

You will see that in our example the categories are Topics, Places and Home. Now you will have to name the items in each category. That is, you will select all the elements of Subjects (by moving the cursor) and, in the central bar where the coordinates of the selected cells are shown, we will delete what it says to write Subjects.

We have to repeat the process with all the columns. Next, in two separate cells, we will type, for example, "Category" and "Subcategory". We will click on the cell below the "Category" cell and go to the Data tab at the top of the screen.

There we will select the data validation tool, then again the data validation, to display a window.

Now, in the Allow part, you will choose the List option. And, in the Source box, place an equal sign and then drag the cursor through the category cells (in this case Topics, Places and Home). Accept the changes.

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Finally, you will return to the data validation menu , but this time, with the cell below the selected "Subcategory" selected. You will again choose the List option, but now in Source type = indirect (), then click between the square brackets, then press the cell under "Categories".

Accept the changes and you are done. You were able to create a drop-down list of employees.

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