It is very common to limit the choices for a selection with a simple drop-down list. We often notice drop-down list in web forms, surveys as well as polls because it helps to shortlist items. It is also possible to create a drop-down list in Excel as well. I believe many of us use drop-down lists from time to time and you may have face difficulties when you add or remove an item from the list. Consider the following as example:
Suppose, you have a list of brands of computer hardware in cells A2:A6. Now you want to create a drop-down list so that user can only select a brand from then list rather than manually input brand name. To create a drop-down in cell E1 follow the following steps:
Now click on E1 cell and you can see the drop-down arrow right next to the cell. Clicking on the arrow will show you the list of items as shown in the below image.
Everything looks fine. However, the main problem is when you want to add a new brand name or even delete a brand. Lets add a new brand name "Acer" in cell A7, but as you can see in the image below, that the drop-down list does not show the brand name.
This is because, the source in the drop-down is upto cell A6 (as shown below).
Therefore, every time you add a new brand name, you need to update the source in the drop-down list.
This is when Excel Tables comes in. The structured reference, as discussed in my last article, makes the drop-down list dynamic. Lets take a look.
Now even if add another brand name, I added "Acer", the drop-down list will automatically update (as shown below).
This is the last part of Excel Data Tables. I will talk about other useful features of Excel in later Articles.