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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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Yes...no....yes....and 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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Tip

Excel - Drop Down List Ever wish that you didn't have to type...





Excel - Drop Down List

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!


Drop Down Preparation

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.
The way a drop down list works in Excel is that it takes values from some place on your spreadsheet and uses them to populate the options in the list. Lucky for us, the type of food is a perfect opportunity to use a drop down list!
In cells A1 through A7 enter the type of food that will be used for the drop down list.


Creating a Drop Down List

Now that we have a source for our drop down list, we can create a begin to create our drop down.
1. Select cells D2 though D20 (We will be creating a drown down list for each cell in this range)

2. Click the Data menu and select Validation
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4. Click the Source button that appears to the right of the textfield

5. Select our source cells A1 though A7

6. Press Enter and Click OK

Testing Your Drop Down

All of your cells in the Type column should now have a drop down list. To test to see if your drop down works, click on cell D2 and then click on the downward facing arrow and see if all the types of food are available.

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ok let me explain
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