Custom Lists in Excel

Along with its robust features like automatic calculations, conditional formatting, charts, and such, Microsoft Excel offers some simple features that can save you time.

One of these features is the ability to create custom lists. Custom lists can be used over and over on your spreadsheets. This is handy for things you use often like product, employee, or attribute lists.

Here’s how to easily create and use custom lists in Excel.

Create custom lists in Excel

Open Microsoft Excel on your Mac. You can open the workbook where you want to insert the custom list or any other workbook since the lists are reusable.

1) Click Excel from your menu.

2) Select Preferences.

3) Click Custom Lists in the window that pops open.

Excel Custom Lists

Another window will open where you can create your custom lists and there are two ways to do it.

Create custom lists manually

You can add your list items one-by-one easily.

1) Select New List from the Custom Lists box on the right.

2) Click inside the List entries box.

3) Add your items, separating each on its own line by hitting the Enter key.

4) When you finish adding items, click Add. You will see those list items automatically populate in the Custom Lists box.

Excel Custom Lists Manually

Create custom lists from a spreadsheet

You may already have a list of items in an Excel spreadsheet that you want to transform into a custom list. This is also easy to do.

1) To speed up the process, move to the spreadsheet that contains the list items.

2) Reopen the Custom Lists window if necessary.

3) Select New List from the Custom Lists box on the right.

4) Click inside the Import list from cells box.

5) Either select the cells on your spreadsheet by dragging through them and hitting the Enter key or typing the cell range in the box.

Excel Custom Lists Select Cells

6) Click Import.

You will see those items populate in both the List entries and Custom Lists boxes.

Excel Custom Lists Populated

Use your Excel custom lists

When you want to add items to a spreadsheet from a custom list you’ve created, start by adding the first item you put on that list.

1) Select the cell for your first item.

2) Move your cursor to the bottom right corner of the cell until the handle appears.

3) Drag to populate subsequent cells with your list items.

4) Release the cursor.

Excel Custom Lists from Cell Range

You’ll notice as you continue to drag from the first cell, items from your list will appear briefly. When you release the cursor, your list items will display in the cells.

You can drag to display your list items in either a column or a row, whichever works best for your spreadsheet.

If you stop dragging before the end of your list, only those items up until that point will display.

If you continue dragging longer than the number of items in your list, the list items will begin again.

Wrapping it up

The ability to create custom lists in Excel is just one of those little time savers that comes in handy. Is this a feature that you currently use in Excel or are you going to give it a try now? Let us know what you think of it!