Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Importing Custom Lists.

Importing Custom Lists

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2020)

1

Custom lists are a rather esoteric Excel feature that allows you to specify ordered lists of information for virtually any purpose. For instance, a list might include a series of classes or workshops, or it might include a series of employee names. Custom lists can be used when sorting data tables, and they can be used by the AutoFill feature.

How you create a custom list from scratch has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips. Rather than creating a list from scratch, however, you might find it easier to import a list from a series of cells already in your worksheet. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. If you are using Excel 2007, make sure Popular is selected at the left of the dialog box. If you are using Excel 2010 or a later version, click Advanced and then scroll toward the end of the options until you see the General area.
  3. Click Edit Custom Lists. Excel displays the Custom Lists dialog box and hides the Excel Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Custom Lists dialog box.

  5. Click once in the Import List from Cells box.
  6. Either enter the address range that contains the list you want imported, or use the mouse to select the range on the worksheet.
  7. Click Import. The values from the selected cells are listed in the List Entries box.
  8. Click OK to close the Custom Lists dialog box. The Excel Options dialog box reappears.
  9. Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box.

You can now use the custom list as you would any other custom list in Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6243) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Importing Custom Lists.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is five more than 5?

2019-10-29 11:04:24

Ann C

Great tip! I used to use this to help me both create row headers in the correct order (for example, I worked with data from nine counties frequently, and could use Fill Down to get them in their proper row or column order) and doing custom sorting. It kept the biggest metro counties in the foreground rather than sorting them alphabetically.


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