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AutoComplete for Data Validation List

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Auto Complete Typing in an Excel Data Validation List

Data Validation

Those that have used Data Validation will know that it is a very handy feature, especially the List option. The List option allows us to have a cell show a drop-down arrow, which the user can then select from.


However, when we do the above we must either scroll to the needed item in the Validation list, or type the whole word. What would be really nice is if Excel would AutoComplete based on our list! Unfortunately no such standard feature exists in Excel.

The Solution

  1. Go to Tools>Options - Edit and check Enable AutoComplete for cell values
  2. Move your list of items is in the range immediately above the Validation cell.
  3. Hide the rows above your Validation cell.

Now, as you type Excel will look at the list above the Validation cell and AutoComplete based on it.

List is Dynamic and/or Resides on Another Worksheet

Lets say your list is on Sheet2 and you wish to use the Validation List with AutoComplete on Sheet1.

On Sheet1 A1 Enter =Sheet2!A1 and copy down including as many spare rows as needed (say 300 rows total). Hide these rows and use this formula in the Refers to: for a dynamic named range called MyList:


Now in the cell immediately below the last hidden row use Data Validation and for the List Source use =MyList

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