Dropdowns in Excel Part 1

What is a dropdown?

I’m 100% sure most of you reading this post, know what a dropdown is. We interact with hundreds of websites and user forms every day. Dropdowns are such a beautiful user interface objects, that they make the lives of the user and the one who creates the form much happier. It reduces the pain of typing something in the box for the user and the pain of resolving inconsistencies in the data for the form creator. Let it be choosing the person title (Mr./Ms./Mrs.) to choosing the city you’re from to anything under sun. Let me start with the very basic things in this post, which many of you might already know. But I’ll slowly come to the very interesting ones in the subsequent blog posts.

How is dropdown useful in Excel?

Excel is unarguably one of the best data entry software and the most widely used across the fields and by a cheap viagra wide range of people.

From a user perspective, when I’m entering a number of rows of data, it’s difficult for me to type the text in a particular column every time I create a new row. Let’s say I am entering the transactions happening in a vegetable stall. Then I need to type the name of the vegetable every time a transaction happens, number of Kilograms the customer took, the amount he/she paid etc. And when I’m analyzing at the end of the month to understand the sales of each vegetable, I will have to add new vegetables to the dictionary,

  • Tomoto
  • Tamoto
  • Tamato
  • Tomat etc. 🙂

I don’t make these mistakes because I don’t know how to write a simple word “Tomato”; but while entering loads of data I tend to make small mistakes, which will trouble me a lot at the end. So, a dropdown is inarguably one of the most useful data entry elements in Excel.

How to create a dropdown list in Excel?

There are multiple ways in which you can create a dropdown list in Excel.

  • Data Validation
  • Form Control (Combo Box)
  • ActiveX Control (Combo Box)

But of these methods, Data Validation is the most used method, for its simplicity. Later on, I’ll explain the pros and cons of each method, so that you can choose the best method among these for you.

Creating a dropdown list in Excel through Data Validation

Before going to explain how to create a dropdown list, let me tell you what a Data Validation is? It controls the type of data or the values that users enter into a

cell. For example, you may want to enter only positive values in a cell, only ‘time’ in a column, or a text below the specified length. You can define all these conditions through Data Validation. Even dropdown list is a data validation where you’re constraining the user to use only those set of words in that cell. Again, in creating a dropdown list through data validation, there are different ways in doing it. Here are those…

Writing the complete list in the Source Field

1)  Select the Cell (or) set of Cells in which you want to see the dropdown.
2)  Go to “Data” Tab –> Data Validation –> Data Validation
3)  Select List in the “Allow box”
4)  Just enter the names you want to see in the dropdown list in the “Source” Box

Dropdown in excel through Data Vaidation

That’s it!!! Go to the cell for which you created validation. Click on the dropdown button, you’ll be able to see the names of the vegetables you’ve entered.

Excel Dropdown Names in the Source Field

Selecting a list of items in the same or other sheet

In the aforementioned example, instead of entering the names in the source field, you can choose a list which is already entered in the same or different excel sheet.

The best advantage of this method is, if you remove the vegetable name ‘Carrot’ from the list and replace it with ‘Lady Finger’, it will automatically update the list without your intervention. The only problem with this method is, if you append an item to this list at the end, it won’t get reflected in the dropdown.

Selecting a List of Items from the Same or Other worksheet

Using Dynamic Defined Names

1)  Select the list you want to be shown in the dropdown
2)  In the Name Box which is beside the formula bar, enter the name and click ENTER
3)  That will name the selected table as written in the “Name Box”
4)  In the Source Field, write “=” followed by the Table Name you’ve selected

There it is! You’ve created a dropdown!! It’s as simple as that!

“Is that all about dropdowns?”

“No! Please wait a moment!”.  This is just the beginning and it’s going to get more interesting in the next posts in this series. I will be back with a post on Friday and till then adieu.

How to Avoid Screen Updating in Excel VBA?

This article helps to handle the screen updates using macro. We can speed up our macro by turning off the screen updating while the macro runs, by adding the below line of code to the macro:
Sub Macro ()
Application.ScreenUpdating = False

Write the necessary code Here

——————-

——————-
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub.

The prior versions of excel 2000, it was not

required to turn ScreenUpdating back to

true. When the macro is finished, Excel would revert back to turning the screen updating to true.

But now whether you are writing macros in Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, 2003, 2007 or 2010 always we have to turn the screen updating back to true with the below code:
Application.ScreenUpdating = True

Vani is a Business Associate with p2w2, a Spreadsheet Solutions company. p2w2 has expertise in Excel Modeling, Excel Dashboards, Profitability Analysis, Excel Invoicesand Excel Bid sheets. You can contact us by email: cs [at] p2w2.com or call us at 305.600.0950.

How to do a Two-Way Lookup in Excel?

Excel spreadsheets support lookup functions that return a value from a table by looking up another value in the table. The vlookup and hlookup functions in Excel work as one-way lookups. This article helps you to perform a two way lookup.

The Pi

cture below shows a simple example:

The first table shows products, Price of the product and discount on number of products purchased. The second table shows name of the person, product purchased, number of products purchased and discount applicable.

A formula is used in column E of second table to get the discount percentage from the first table as shown in the picture below:

The formula in cell E15 looks up the values of cells C15(Product) and D15(# of Products) in the first table and returns the corresponding value from the table.

The formula in E15 is:

=IFERROR(INDEX($D$4:$F$12,MATCH($C15,$B$4:$B$12,0),MATCH($D15,$D$3:$F$3,0)),”-“)

Description of the formula:

The above formula uses the INDEX function, which consists of three arguments.

The first argument gives the entire range of ‘Discount% on # of products’ from first table($D$4:$F$12).

=IFERROR(INDEX($D$4:$F$12,MATCH($C15,$B$4:$B$12,0),MATCH($D15,$D$3:$F$3,0)),”-“)

The second argument is MATCH function. MATCH ($C15,$B$4:$B$12,0)

It matches the ‘product’ in cell C15 of second

table with the ‘products’ in cells B4 to B12 of first table and returns the ‘Product.

=IFERROR(INDEX($D$4:$F$12,MATCH($C15,$B$4:$B$12,0),MATCH($D15,$D$3:$F$3,0)),”-“)

The third argument is also a MATCH function. MATCH ($D15,$D$3:$F$3,0).

It matches the ‘# of products’ in cell D15 of second table with the ‘Discount% on # of products’

in cells D3 to F3 of first table and returns the ‘# of products’.

=IFERROR(INDEX($D$4:$F$12,MATCH($C15,$B$4:$B$12,0),MATCH($D15,$D$3:$F$3,0)),”-“).

In this way the above formula is used as a two way lookup formula to retrieve the value required.

 

 

 

How to Sort in Excel?

Sorting is used to reorder our data in excel. We can easily reorder the data based on the type of sorting that we choose. We have two methods to sort the data.

Method 1:

Below are the steps to sort the given data in Excel:

Select a single cell anywhere in the range that you want to sort.

Note: If there are merged cells in your data, unmerge the cells before applying the Sort operation.

Select Data menu and select Sort from Sort & Filter group.

In the Sort by list, select the first column on which you want to sort. (You can click on Add Level to include additional number of columns to sort).
In the Sort On list, select the desired field from the drop down (ValuesCell ColorFont Color, or Cell Icon).
In the Order list, select the order that you want to apply to the sort operation (A to Z or Z to A for text, lower to higher or higher to lower for numbers).

Check the field My data has headers if your data has headers included.
Click OK.

Picture below shows the data after sorting.

 

Method 2:

Select a single cell in the column of the range that you want to sort.
Right click on the selected cell and select Sort in the options appeared.
Select the desired options (A to Z or Z to A for text, lower to higher or higher

to lower for numbers).

Picture below shows the data after sorting.

 

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Vani is a Business Associate with p2w2, a Spreadsheet Solutions company. p2w2 has expertise in Excel ModelingExcel DashboardsProfitability Analysis,  Excel Invoicesand Excel Bid sheets. You can contact us by email: cs [at] p2w2.com or call us at 305.600.0950.

 

How to Use Conditional Formatting in Excel?

Conditional formatting is used to pick out important data from a huge list of data. Though it is a little difficult to use, knowing the basics can help us in whatever project we are working on.

We can use conditional formatting in many ways. Following are the two ways of using conditional formatting.

Conditional Formatting in Same cell
Conditional Formatting in Multi cell

Conditional Formatting in Same cell

We can use this option, when we have to apply formats to the same cell. Let us take the example below to apply formats based on required conditions.

In column B of the above picture, the total marks of the students are displayed, we can identify the marks less than 700 and greater than 700 quickly by applying conditional formatting on column B.

Conditional formatting for the values Greater than 700.

Select the cells to format and select Conditional Formatting from Home menu.

Select Highlight Cells Rules and select Greater Than from the drop down.

Enter the number in the box provided for “Format cells that are GREATER THAN:”, and select ‘Custom Format’.

Select Fill from Format Cells, Select a required color from Background color and select OK.

The picture shows the result after applying Conditional Formatting.

 

Conditional formatting for the values less than 700.

Select the cells which have to be formatted, select Conditional Formatting from Home menu,  Select Highlight Cells Rules and select Less Than.

Select the cells to format and select Conditional Formatting from Home menu.

Select Highlight Cells Rules and select Less Than from the drop down.

Enter the number in the box provided for “Format cells that are LESS THAN:”, and select ‘Custom Format’.

Select Fill from Format Cells, Select a required color from Background color and select OK.

The picture shows the result after applying Conditional Formatting.

Conditional Formatting in Multi cell

This option is used

to apply formats to more than one cell based on one value. Let us take the example below to apply formats based on required conditions.

Select the cells to format and select Conditional Formatting from Home menu.

Select

New Rule from the menu.

Select Use a formula to determine which cells to format from New Formatting Rule window, enter the formula in the box provided for “Format values where this formula is true: , and select Format.

Select Fill from Format Cells, Select a required color from Background color and select OK.

The picture shows the result after applying Conditional Formatting.

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Vani is a Business Associate with p2w2, a Spreadsheet Solutions company. p2w2 has expertise in Excel ModelingExcel DashboardsProfitability Analysis,  Excel Invoicesand Excel Bid sheets. You can contact us by email: cs [at] p2w2.com or call us at 305.600.0950.