How to create drop-down lists in Excel on Mac

Using custom lists in Microsoft Excel on your Mac makes tedious data entry relatively quick and easy. Drop-down lists are no different; you can create one in just a few clicks.

Drop-down lists in Excel are ideal for limiting the options for cell entries. They come in handy for selecting items like colors, sizes, products, people, days, and so much more.

Here’s how to quickly create a drop-down list in Excel on Mac.

Excel drop down list on Mac

Add a drop-down list to a cell

Open Microsoft Excel and the document where you want to add the drop-down list. Then, follow these steps.

1) Enter your list items onto a spreadsheet. You can use a new sheet in your workbook or existing cells where you have the items entered.

2) Click the cell where you want to insert the drop-down list.

3) Open the Data tab and click Data Validation from your ribbon.

4) In the pop-up window, click the Settings button.

5) Under Validation criteria > Allow, select List.

Excel Data Validation Select List

6) Click inside the Source box and then drag through the cells that should appear in the drop-down list. (You can also type in the cell range yourself if you’re comfortable with the format.)

Note that the pop-up window will minimize as you perform this action. When you release the cursor at the end of the cells you’re selecting, the window will maximize again.

Excel Data Validation Select Cells

7) Hit the Enter key.

8) Click OK.

The pop-up window will disappear, and you should see that the cell for your drop-down list contains an arrow for you to select an item.

Excel Drop-Down List

Add a drop-down list to a column or row

If you want to use the same drop-down list options across a whole column or row, that’s simple enough. Select the entire column by clicking the letter at the top or the entire row by clicking the number on the left.

Then, follow the steps we listed above, beginning with Step 2 for the Data tab and Data Validation button.

Excel Drop-Down List Row

Adding a drop-down list to your spreadsheet is convenient for selecting from several pre-determined items. And you can create multiple drop-down lists for different items all on one sheet. Is this an Excel feature that you find helpful? Or, maybe you haven’t created drop-down lists in Excel yet, but will now? Let us know!

Here’s a short video showing how to create a drop-down list in Excel.

Related tutorials: