November 26, 2022

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Google Sheets energy suggestions: Tips on how to use dropdown lists

Google Sheets helps you to design spreadsheets with refined options, and some of the helpful to know is dropdown lists. You’ll be able to add a dropdown record to a cell (or to a variety of cells), and if you or one other individual with entry to your spreadsheet clicks the cell, a dropdown will open that reveals a listing of numbers or phrases that they will choose. The quantity or phrase that’s chosen will then seem contained in the cell.

Some use case examples:

  • You want co-workers to enter very particular numbers or phrases into your spreadsheet. Offering dropdown lists makes this extra handy for them and eliminates the danger of mistyped entries.
  • You add a dropdown record containing quantity presets that instantly change a chart embedded in your spreadsheet.
  • You create a spreadsheet to trace a venture, during which co-workers choose their work progress standing from a dropdown record.

You’ll be able to create two sorts of dropdown lists in Google Sheets: The primary lists particular numbers or phrases that you just’ve entered as preset selections, whereas the second lists knowledge that at the moment seems in a variety of cells in your spreadsheet. This information walks you thru the fundamental steps of making each varieties of dropdowns and including colour to them.

Create a dropdown that lists particular numbers or phrases

Choose the cell or the vary of cells the place you need the dropdown to be in your spreadsheet. Then on the toolbar above your spreadsheet, click on Knowledge > Knowledge validation.

On the “Knowledge validation” panel that opens, click on Listing from a variety subsequent to “Standards.” From the menu that opens, choose Listing of things.

google sheets dropdowns 01 data validation IDG

Kind within the gadgets you need to seem within the dropdown record, separated by commas. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Now, within the field to the fitting of “Listing of things,” sort within the numbers or phrases that you really want your dropdown record to have. Make sure you separate every quantity or phrase with a comma – however don’t sort in an area between the numbers or phrases.

If you create a dropdown record, the cell that it’s in will likely be marked with a small down arrow. For those who don’t need this arrow to seem within the cell, uncheck Present dropdown record in cell.

If you’re completed, click on Save on the decrease proper of the panel.

Now if you double-click this cell (or click on the down arrow inside it), a dropdown record will open that reveals the numbers or phrases that you just typed in above. When you choose certainly one of these numbers or phrases, it is going to then seem contained in the cell.

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google sheets dropdowns 02 value dropdowns in spreadsheet IDG

Within the spreadsheet, click on the down arrow in a cell with a dropdown record to see the out there choices (left); the merchandise you choose will seem within the cell (proper). (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Create a dropdown that lists knowledge out of your spreadsheet

Choose the cell or the vary of cells the place you need the dropdown to be in your spreadsheet. Then on the toolbar above your spreadsheet, click on Knowledge > Knowledge validation.

On the “Knowledge validation” panel that opens, go away the “Standards” dropdown set to Listing from a variety. Within the field to its proper, sort within the vary of cells that you just need to seem within the dropdown record. For instance: For those who sort in A1:A10, the info in cells A1 to A10 of your spreadsheet will seem as ten gadgets within the dropdown record.

For those who click on the grid icon that’s inside this entry field, a small panel (“Choose a variety”) will open over your spreadsheet. With this panel open, you possibly can scroll by way of your spreadsheet. If you click on to pick out a variety of cells, their letter-number designations will seem on this panel’s entry field. Click on OK and your chosen vary of cells will seem within the entry field to the fitting of “Listing from a variety.”

google sheets dropdowns 03 select data range IDG

Choose the vary of cells whose knowledge you need to seem within the dropdown record. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

If you’re completed designating a variety of cells, click on Save on the decrease proper of the “Knowledge validation” panel.

Now if you double-click this cell (or click on the down arrow inside it), a listing will open that reveals the present knowledge within the vary of cells that you just chosen. When you choose certainly one of these numbers or phrases, it is going to then seem contained in the cell.

google sheets dropdowns 04 range dropdowns in spreadsheet IDG

The dropdown reveals a listing of things which can be at the moment within the vary of cells you chose. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

If the vary of cells you chose incorporates formulation, the present quantity showing in a cell that’s calculated by a system will seem within the dropdown record. If the vary of cells you chose incorporates phrases, these phrases will seem within the dropdown record. You’ll be able to even choose a variety of cells that’s a mixture of numbers, phrases, and formulation. The dropdown will record no matter is at the moment in every cell within the vary of cells that you just chosen.

Edit or take away a dropdown

Choose the cell (or cells) that incorporates the dropdown record. Then, from the toolbar above your spreadsheet, click on Knowledge > Knowledge validation.

On the “Knowledge validation” panel, you possibly can edit the record of numbers or phrases to the fitting of “Listing of things” or change the vary of supply cells subsequent to “Listing from a variety.”

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Or, to take away the dropdown record from the cell or cells, click on Take away validation on the backside of the panel.

Add colours to a dropdown

You’ve created your dropdown record. Now you possibly can assign a colour to every merchandise on the record in order that when you choose one of many gadgets, the textual content or background of the cell it’s added to turns that colour. This might help make your spreadsheet extra visually fascinating, signify the significance of an merchandise on the record, or emphasize the place the merchandise falls in a variety.

Assign background colours to gadgets in your dropdown

Click on to pick out the cell that incorporates the dropdown record. Then, on the toolbar above your spreadsheet, click on Format > Conditional formatting. A sidebar (“Conditional format guidelines”) will open alongside the fitting.

google sheets dropdowns 05 conditional format rules IDG

Use the “Conditional format guidelines” sidebar to assign colours to your dropdown record. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Within the sidebar underneath the “Format guidelines” header, click on the field with the phrases Is just not empty. From the dropdown record that opens, choose Textual content is precisely.

An entry field with the phrases “Worth or System” seems. Kind in your complete quantity or phrase out of your dropdown record that you just need to assign a background colour.

Subsequent, under the bar labeled “Default,” click on the Fill colour icon (a paint can). A colour choice panel will open. Click on to pick out a colour.

google sheets dropdowns 06 conditional formatting IDG

Designate the formatting guidelines, textual content, and fill colour for an merchandise in your dropdown. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Lastly, click on the Finished button.

Now when you choose this merchandise from the dropdown record, the background colour of this cell will change to the one that you just had chosen above. When you choose one other merchandise on this record, the background colour will return to the default colour.

google sheets dropdowns 07 item with color in spreadsheet IDG

If you choose Pending from the dropdown within the instance spreadsheet, its background will likely be yellow. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

To assign a background colour for the opposite gadgets on this cell’s dropdown record, click on Add one other rule within the “Conditional format guidelines” sidebar, then repeat the above steps.

google sheets dropdowns 08 multiple items with background colors in spreadsheet IDG

Now all three dropdown menu selections have an acceptable background colour. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

When you grasp how the above works, you possibly can assign totally different colours to particular numbers that will present up when a system in your dropdown record calculates them. For instance, if the system for an merchandise in your dropdown record calculates the quantity 90, then the cell background colour may grow to be inexperienced when this merchandise is chosen from the dropdown record. If the quantity turns into 20, then the cell background colour may grow to be purple.

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To do that: Following the steps above, sort in 90 after which assign the colour inexperienced to it. Then, within the “Conditional format guidelines” panel, click on Add one other rule. Observe the steps above once more, sort in 20, and assign it the colour purple.

Assign textual content colours to gadgets in your dropdown

You’ll be able to assign the gadgets in your dropdown record textual content colours as a substitute of or as well as background colours. Observe the steps above, and within the “Formatting type” space of the “Conditional format guidelines” sidebar, click on the Textual content colour icon (a capital “A”) and select a colour. Click on the Fill colour icon and select a background colour or click on None.

Assign a colour scale to gadgets in your dropdown

You’ll be able to assign a variety of background colours to the gadgets in your dropdown record. For instance, you might set it in order that if the consumer selects 100 out of your dropdown record, the cell background colour turns inexperienced. For 60, the cell background turns yellow. For 10, the cell background turns purple. And for any numbers in your dropdown record that fall between two of those three, the background will seem as an intermediate shade between the 2 colours.

For example this, let’s create a dropdown record that incorporates ten numbers (10, 20, 30, and so forth.) that may be chosen.

Click on to pick out the cell that incorporates the dropdown record. Then on the toolbar above your spreadsheet, click on Format > Conditional formatting to open the “Conditional format guidelines” sidebar alongside the fitting.

On this sidebar, click on the Coloration scale tab on the higher proper. The sidebar will swap to the “Coloration scale” panel.

Subsequent, underneath the “Format guidelines” heading, click on Minpoint to open its dropdown menu. For our instance, choose Quantity. Kind 10 In within the entry field to the fitting.

google sheets dropdowns 09 color scale setup IDG

To arrange a colour vary, assign a Minpoint, Midpoint, and Maxpoint worth and colour. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Click on the paint can icon to the fitting. From the colour choice panel that opens, click on to pick out the colour purple.

Choose Quantity from the dropdown lists for Midpoint and Maxpoint, too, and sort in 60 and 100 respectively. Click on their paint can icons, and choose the colour yellow for Midpoint and inexperienced for Maxpoint. As you set these factors and colours, you’ll see a preview of the entire colour vary simply above.

Click on the Finished button.

Now when the quantity 60 is chosen from the dropdown record, the cell’s background colour turns to yellow. When you choose 70, the background colour turns to a yellow that has a tinge of inexperienced combined in. When you choose 100, the cell’s background colour will likely be absolutely inexperienced.

google sheets dropdowns 10 color scale in spreadsheet IDG

Utilizing a colour scale offers a visible indicator for the values of things in a dropdown record. (Click on picture to enlarge it.)

Handle the colours of things in your dropdown

If you wish to change the textual content or background colours you’ve assigned to the gadgets in a dropdown record, click on to pick out the cell that incorporates the dropdown record, then click on Format > Conditional formatting to open the “Conditional format guidelines” sidebar. Within the sidebar you’ll see a listing of the colour assignments you’ve made for the dropdown record, every with its personal colour swatch.

Take away a colour: Transfer the pointer over the colour swatch and click on the garbage can icon that seems to the fitting of the swatch.

google sheets dropdowns 11 remove rule IDG

Click on the garbage can to take away a colour project.

Change a colour: Click on the colour swatch. If it’s a single colour, the sidebar will swap to the “Single colour” panel. If it’s a variety of colours, the sidebar will swap to the “Scale colour” panel. Click on the paint can icons on both panel to alter colours.

Add a brand new colour: Click on Add one other rule. The sidebar will swap to the “Single colour” panel. If you wish to assign a variety of colours to the gadgets in your dropdown record, click on Scale colour on the higher proper to change to this panel.

Learn this subsequent: Google Sheets energy suggestions: Tips on how to use filters and slicers

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