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: Contingent Validation Lists.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 26, 2015)
The data validation capabilities in Excel are quite handy, particularly if your worksheets will be used by others. When developing a worksheet, you might wonder if there is a way to make the choices in one cell contingent on what is selected in a different cell. For instance, you may set up the worksheet so that cell A1 uses data validation to select a product from a list of products. You would then like the validation rule in cell B1 to present different validation lists based on the product selected in A1.
The easiest way to accomplish this task is in this manner:
Figure 1. The New Name dialog box.
Figure 2. The Data Validation dialog box.
That's it. Now, whatever is chosen in cell A1 dictates which list is presented in cell B1.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11943) 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: Contingent Validation Lists.
Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!
Drop-down lists are handy in an Excel worksheet, and you they can be even more handy if a selection in one drop-down ...Discover More
If you want to make sure that only unique values are entered in a particular column, you can use the data validation ...Discover More
When inputting information into a worksheet, you may need a way to limit what can be entered. This scenario is a prime ...Discover More
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.