Do you used in-cell dropdowns in your spreadsheets? It’s both an ease-of-use and a data quality maneuver: clicking a dropdown is faster than typing a value, and it’s really hard to mis-type a value when you’re not actually typing!
A formula begins with an equal to (=) sign and is followed by syntax that lets you do the required calculations.
In Part 2 of this series we’ll look at Excel lists, drop downs and data validation.
These are very important areas of Excel that you should master if you want to take your Excel skills to the next level.
The technique I use is simple, fast (don’t be turned off by the length of this post – it takes less than 2 minutes to set up once you’ve done it a couple of times! ” Let’s say I have a spreadsheet that lists a bunch of different ideas for how I could try to take better pictures (this is a silly example, obviously – clearly, I just need to more liberally apply Instagram filters! Let’s say my initial list looks something like this: Over time, I know I’m going to be adding to the list, and I’d really love to be able to select the value in the second column from a dropdown: That’s really all we’re looking to do (but I’m going to add a small twist later in the example).
), and flexible, and it allows easily updating a bunch of cells that need to have the same set of values in their dropdown. The obvious way (if you know to search for “data validation”…which ain’t exactly “obvious,” IMHO), to create these dropdowns is to highlight all the cells where you want the dropdown to appear, click on Data Data Validation, and then enter the list of values you want to use: That seems like a good way to go about things, but it is a fragile and risky approach indeed, as we’ll discuss later (spoiler: it has to do with updating that list over time).