Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Contingent Validation Lists.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 6, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365
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, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Contingent Validation Lists.
Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!
Data validation allows you to create drop-down lists that aid data entry. If you want the indicator for the drop-down ...Discover More
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
When setting up Excel for data entry, you often have to be concerned with what values are acceptable. For example, if ...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.