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Google Docs: In-cell dropdown and validation in spreadsheets

Google added “in-cell dropdown” and “validation” to spreadsheets, that makes it easy to constrain the values of an individual cell to a specific range or list.

Steps to create in-cell dropdown list through validation against a range:

  1. Enter data into a range of cells.
    • For e.g., create list of destinations on your spreadsheet.
  2. Select cell(s) you would like to validate.
  3. Under Tools menu, select Data validation…
  4. Change Criteria to “Items from a list”
  5. Click button next to “Create list from range” option and select range of cells you entered data in Step 1.
  6. Click Save and cell you chose to validate will have dropdown arrow in it with data in your cell range as the potential input values. If you want, you can set a cell to allow invalid data.

Create in-cell dropdown using custom list:

  1. Under Tools menu, select Data validation…
  2. Change Criteria to “Items from a list”
  3. Click button next to ‘Enter list items’ option
  4. Enter a set of custom values, separated by commas
  5. Click Save and the cell selected will have dropdown list with values you entered.


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