Google Sheets power tips: How to use dropdown lists

Google Sheets lets you design spreadsheets with sophisticated features, and one of the most useful to know is dropdown lists. You can add a dropdown list to a cell (or to a range of cells), and when you or another person with access to your spreadsheet clicks the cell, a dropdown will open that shows a list of numbers or words that they can select. The number or word that’s selected will then appear inside the cell.

Some use case examples:

You need co-workers to enter very specific numbers or words into your spreadsheet. Providing dropdown lists makes this more convenient for them and eliminates the risk of mistyped entries.
You add a dropdown list containing number presets that immediately change a chart embedded on your spreadsheet.
You create a spreadsheet to track a project, in which co-workers select their work progress status from a dropdown list.

You can create two kinds of dropdown lists in Google Sheets: The first lists specific numbers or words that you’ve entered as preset choices, while the second lists data that currently appears in a range of cells in your spreadsheet. This guide walks you through the basic steps of creating both types of dropdowns and adding color to them.

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