How To Add A Drop Down List In Google Sheets

Are you keen to learn how to include a drop down list in your Google Sheet? Dropdown lists, also known as dropdown menus, are essential for performing data entry tasks on a Google sheet.

They contain predefined sets of commands that users can select when entering data into a google sheet cell. Creating these sets of predefined commands is called data validation.

Adding a dropdown menu into your google sheet is simple is you know how to use the data validation command. It gives users a chance to pick answers from a predefined list. You can create a dropdown menu using the “list from a range” option. You could also opt for the “list of items” option available. The data you specify in it will apply to any range of cell addresses you choose. 

Advantages of Creating Dropdown Lists in Google Sheets

Creating a dropdown menu allows you to standardize commands to ensure users record specific data in cells.

If you record student grades, it may be possible to write the answer to a query in different ways. For example, you could write 5th grade or fifth grade.

When you specify “fifth grade” as the answer you want to a query, that’s the option they will pick. It will enable you to make the data in your sheet uniform.

Otherwise, you may have a mix of “fifth grade” and “5th grades” on your sheet, making it look disorganized.

Dropdown lists also add a concept of interactivity to your google sheet. Users can choose from a selection of options instead of having to input predetermined data into a cell.

For example, you could have a column for shopping and allow users to select a shopping item from a list.

You can create a dropdown list on google sheets using the “list of item” command or “list from range” command. It’s pretty simple once you understand the steps. Here are some instructions.

How to Add a Drop Down List in Google Sheets 

Using the “List of Item” Command

  • Select the cells on your google sheet in which you want to have your dropdown menu.
  • Click on “data” select “data validation”. A data validation box will pop up from the toolbar.
  • Pick “list of items” from the dropdown menu in the criteria section.
  • Enter the values or names of items you want in your dropdown menu in the box to your right. Make sure you separate them with commas as you write them.
  • For example, you may want a dropdown menu with commands like Email, Text, Mail, etc.
  • Tick the check box next to the “show dropdown list in cells.”
  • Next, pick the message users should receive when data inputted into the cell is invalid. One of the options you can select is “show warning”. Or you could also choose the “reject input” option.
  • If you choose “show warning,” users will see a box with the message “Invalid” when they input the wrong data.
  • When you select the “reject input” option from the “on invalid data” section, any incorrect data will be rejected. A pop-up box with the message “the data you entered violates the data validation rule” will appear.
  • When you’re happy with the options you’ve selected, click on “Save”. Your dropdown menu preferences will then have been stored.

Using the “List from a Range” Option

  • Choose the cell or cells you want to create your dropdown list in. For example, cells E1 to E6. List your commands in the cells, Eg. Command 1, Command 2, Command 3, Command 4, Command 5, and Command 6.
  • Select the cell range for which you’d like to create your dropdown menu in.
  • Click on “data,” then select “data validation” from the list of commands, and a data validation box will appear.
  • Specify the cells in which you want to have your dropdown menu. e.g., Sheet1!A1:A6
  • In the criteria section, pick the “list from a range” option and specify the range address in which you’ve specified commands. An example is Sheet1!E1:E6.
  • Check the box next to “show dropdown list in cell” to enable users to see the menu when inputting data.
  • Next, pick between “show warning” and “reject input” from the “on invalid data” tab.
  • Finish creating your dropdown list by clicking save.
  • You now know how to add a dropdown list in Google sheets by employing the “List of Range” function.


If you’ve been wondering how to add a dropdown list in Google sheets, you now have two options to try.

Use them to give users of your google spreadsheet a list of options to choose from when filling the sheet.

It makes it easier to update google sheets and allows you to control its information. You will only get relevant information, and your spreadsheet will remain organized.

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