How to Get a Drop Down Menu on Microsoft Excel

07/15/2019     Author: Billy Gray

 Excel can be a pain in the backside to use effectively. The simplest thing can have you running around in circles all day. Here’s how to do the drop-down menu.


If you have to work with Microsoft Excel, then you probably understand that it can be a total nightmare to work with. The simplest task – like trying to create or drop down menu – can take ages to figure out. Even just merging cells together takes a lot of tinkering if you’ve never done it before.

This is why they do courses in Excel. The software can open up many doors to organize data, but you really do need to know how to use it. Learning how to use excel is an important part of professional development and is essential to being able to organize an office, a product’s sales, or even just manage what time you’re getting into work in the morning.

Excel doesn’t actually have to be limited to professional life. You can use excel for your own personal habits as well. It’s great for monitoring what you’re spending, tracking your habits, and logging your diet. If you’re struggling to use it, then don’t worry, you’re not alone.

First thing’s first, let’s go other some of the most essential tricks when starting out with excel.

How to create a drop down menu on Microsoft Excel

To begin with, you’ll need to know how to create a drop down menu. This allows you to fill out a square from a list of available options. This is really useful when organizing tasks into categories.

To create a drop down menu in a square on excel, simply:

  1. Write out your options in the table.
  2. Highlight them and press Ctrl+T to make a table.
  3. Select the cell that you want to insert the table into.
  4. Press data at the top of the page.
  5. Select Data Validation.
  6. Stay on the Settings section. In the Allow box, select List.
  7. Highlight the cells in the table you just made.
  8. You can choose a name for the list in Input Message.
  9. Click OK
  10. Your list is now there.

Nothing is ever that simple with Excel, but then, it’s not overly complicated, either. By following some simple steps, you can easily get your head around anything on excel – you just need the instructions and to try them out while reading them.

Here’s a couple more tips for you, just because we’re nice.

Conditional formatting

Most people don’t even know what this it, yet it’s often considered to be one of the most useful features on Excel. Conditional formatting allows you to see clearly what values are performing best.

To use it, simply:

  • Highlight the cells with the data you want to compare.
  • Click Home, followed by Conditional Formatting, then select New Rule.
  • You’ll see a box called New Formatting Rule. Choose Use a formula and choose the cells to format.
  • Under Format values where this formula is true, type in =(cell)>TODAY()
  • Choose Format.
  • Choose a color in the color box. You can also select a font.
  • Press OK.

Add multiple rows

This is one of the most annoying things to do on excel. You want to insert a few new rows between some existing ones, so you have to right click and press insert new row for every individual addition. Or do you?

Obviously, no you don’t. To insert multiple new rows, simply highlight as many boxes as you want to add rows and do the normal procedure. If you highlight four boxes and choose to insert new rows, you’ll get four rows. Simple as that.

Special paste   

Copying and pasting data can be a nightmare. The formatting from the square that you copied from will stick and this can look stupid in the new spreadsheet you’ve pasted it into. Not to mention it takes a while to undo the formatting and inset the new style.

To avoid this and simply copy the data and not the formatting, simply use the shortcut Alt E S V. This will copy the data but not the formatting. Viola!

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