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Asking Excel to insert a drop down list based on previously entered text

Example, Say in Cell A1 "Breakfast" is typed in. In A2 I'd like a drop down menu to appear, i.e. with cereal, toast, yoghurt, eggs or bacon to select from.

However, if "Lunch" is entered in A1, a different drop down menu should appear, i.e. sammy, salad, pasta.

And finally, if "Dinner" is entered in A1, yet a different drop down menu should appear, i.e. steak, chicken, tuna, stir fry.

Is this possible and if so, what is the formula to be used?

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  • Marty marty May 11, 2010

    you are asking excel to do the job of access...try using access for this...excel is merely a place to store data...access is a tool to utilize that data


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  • 108 Answers yes. And if that sounds like a funny response let me explain. First of all you can write a formula for a specific cell (or cells or interrelated cells where you menus would display). It takes a while and if you are new to the syntax it could take a couple hours even (let's assume you are not a math major). Using Access, for something this apparently simple, I would not suggest (another learning curve but admittedly a reasonably easy one). But, this is the second yes, the easiest way to do this would be to simply insert a "comment". When you hold the cursor over the cell...your data...i.e. menu...will pop up. And yes...(last yes) you could have Sunday thru Monday across the top and Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the right hand column. Now this assumes what you have said is what your are trying to do...effectively meal planning...and you are not trying to plug in the inventory in the fridge to develop a shopping list.

Lastly...yes I could write the formula....but not knowing what you do (and figuring if you are going to use Excel at all you really do need to learn how to do it) I would be wasting a bit of time. Hope this helps...Tango.

Posted on Feb 05, 2008

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Ever wish that you didn't have to type out the same thing over and over again? Well you can save time by using Excel's drop down list!

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Imagine that we are creating an Excel spreadsheet to document our purchases from the grocery store. For each purchase we want to mark down the name of the food and the type of the food.
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