How to create an Excel drop down list from another tab

Here's a quick tip for creating a Microsoft Excel drop down list from another tab.

man using spreadsheet

Image: AndreyPopov, Getty Images/iStockphoto

The data you want to use in an Excel drop down list usually won't be in the same sheet as the drop down. The good news is that identifying a list on another sheet requires only an extra click to access the sheet. We can illustrate this as follows. (You can work with your own data or download the demonstration .xlsx and .xls files.)

  • If you have only one sheet, add a new one. ("Different sheet" in the demonstration file.)  
  • Select E4 in the new sheet and repeat the instructions for creating a drop down from a previous Excel article through step 4.
  • When you get to the step 5, where you identify the source, click inside the Source Control.
  • Click the Lists sheet tab or the tab that contains your list items.
  • Select the list (A1:A4).
  • Click OK, which will return you to the new sheet, where you'll find a populated list in E4 (Figure A).

Figure A

createamicrosoftexceldropdownlistfrom-anothertab-figure-b.jpg

With an extra click to identify the sheet, you can easily display list items on another sheet.

Get more Excel tips

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