A Guide About Creating A Drop-Down List In Google Sheets Easily

Drop-down lists are often used in data entry works, making product lists for a specific type of business, and organizing your dataset in Google Sheets in an efficient manner. It saves you time manually inputting specific data to numerous cells, especially when you mainly have to categorize them.


Thus, if your main goal is to categorize a list of items according to a specific topic, learning how to create drop-down lists can actually be a life-changing matter for you. It might be pretty confusing at first since it involves numbers and ranges, but you’ll get the hang of it as you keep creating more.

This guide presents the detailed process of adding drop-down lists to your spreadsheet, so make sure to read it through the end.

Manually Specifying the Items

In this case, customers who want to create a drop-down list in Google Sheets but do not want to use data from the sheets or prefer to enter their list manually will find this way to be the most convenient.

1. Go to Google Sheets and choose a file you want to add a drop-down list to.

To begin, launch Google Sheets on your computer and then browse through your existing files to see whether one of them is the one you want to modify. If not, you can make a new one and attach a drop-down list to that sheet.

2. In the menu bar, click “Data” then select “Data Validation”.

On the upper part of your sheet, you will see the menu bar with many options and tools. Select “Data” from those choices, then click “Data Validation” to show a new option window.

3. Edit the cell range in the Data Validation window.

There are several aspects in the new Data Validation window: cell range, criteria, on invalid data, and appearance. In the cell range section, you can manually enter the cell numbers of the cells you wish to have a drop-down list for, or you can drag across the selected cells to get the data cell range.

4. In the Criteria Section, click the downward arrow then select “List of Items” from the choices.

For the Criteria Section, seven different options will be shown on your screen, but you have to choose “List of Items” to manually specify the items you want to include in your choices.

5. Input all the items you want to be included in your drop-down list.

There is a space on the left side of the “List of Items” where you can type all the items you want to include in your drop-down list.

6. Click the “Save” button on the lower-left part of the window.

If you’re satisfied with all your inputs, click the save button to apply all the changes you’ve made.

Using Range of Cells

Utilize this method if you want a more convenient way of making a drop-down list. Instead of manually typing the dataset for your drop-down list, it will allow you to use data within your existing cells.

1. In the Data Validation window, make sure that the cell range is correct.

The range of cells you will include here is what you want for the drop-down list to appear.

2. For the Criteria, click the downward arrow then choose “List from a Range” from the options.

To change the criteria, click the arrow on the right side and select one of the seven options: list from a range, list of items, number, text, date, custom formula, or check box. To proceed with this process, you must select “List from a range.”

3. Choose the range of cells containing the list of items to display in the drop-down list.

There is a table icon on the right side that you may click to identify the cells that contain the items you want to include in the drop-down list.

4. Click Save to apply all the changes made.

If you’re okay with all of the data validation window inputs, click Save to apply all of your changes.

5. Check your sheets if all changes have been made.

After pressing Save, the data validation window will automatically exit and direct you back to your sheet. Observe your desired cells to see if you’ve successfully generated a drop-down list.

Making Lists for a Better Data Organization in Sheets

Lists are the optimal method to use when it comes to categorizing items and data in your spreadsheet. You can use it almost anywhere, may it be with handling the data you’ve collected from surveys, research, and the like, or when you want your data to appear uniquely organized.

Use this feature together with the other tools Google Sheets has to offer, and I’m sure you’ll be able to achieve an impressively organized spreadsheet!