Similar to the functionality in Access, Excel lets you control entries by forcing users to select a value from a preconfigured list. By creating a drop-down arrow list, users must select from one of the possible options. If someone tries to enter in something else, Excel rejects the entry.

You use the Data Validation feature in Excel to create a drop-down list. Your first step in setting up a drop-down list is to create the list of options. With an Excel spreadsheet open, click cell A1 and type in the first list option. You can create the list in a single row or single column. For example, click cell A2, and enter in the second list option. Continue to enter in each list option.

With the list options entered into the cells, select the cell that will contain the drop-down list. Click the Data menu and click the Validation option. Click the drop-down arrow under Allow and select the List option. Click the Source control and highlight the cells that contain the list options.

Next, verify that the In-Cell Dropdown option is selected. If this option is not selected, the drop-down list won’t appear, but users will still be forced to enter one of the list values.

Finally, click OK to close the Data Validation window. The cell will now contain a drop-down arrow that, when clicked, presents the list options.