Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Setting Data Validation Input Messages.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2015)
Once you have defined a validation rule for the data in a cell, Excel allows you to easily define a message that should appear whenever the cell is selected. These messages are called input messages, and their purpose is to help the user understand what information they should enter in the cell. To enter a data validation input message, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Input Message tab of the Data Validation dialog box.
Notice that Excel allows you to specify both a title and body for your data validation message. The only difference between the two is that the title appears on its own line and is shown in a bold typeface. You can define any message you desire. When you later select the cell, the data validation messages appear in their own message box near the selected cell.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11495) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Setting Data Validation Input Messages.
Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!
Want to control what users put into a cell? It's easy to do using a feature called data validation, as described in this tip.Discover More
Data Validation is a great tool in Excel for making sure that whatever is entered in a cell matches your specific ...Discover More
The data validation capabilities of Excel allow you to easily create drop-down lists showing what data is acceptable for ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.