Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm looking for a solution to a fairly everyday problem in MS Excel if you don't use it just for raw data. Data validation and selection using in-cell drop down list (see image)

Excel in-cell drop down list example

I've checked online services a while ago and none of them actually supported this. To make this work spreadsheets probably need to support named ranges as well. Since Google spreadsheets now support all kinds of custom functions that can be used and manipulate spreadsheets I wonder whether this can be/has been done?

Why don't I just use Excel?

Because I also need simultaneous collaboration which is very good with online spreadsheet services but actually quite a pain with Excel files. It usually works on per user basis so only one user can have the file open in write mode, all others can only read it. This is not really an option.


migration rejected from superuser.com Mar 15 at 19:05

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as off-topic by Vidar S. Ramdal, Al E., Eight Days of Malaise, Jacob Jan Tuinstra, ChrisF Mar 15 at 19:05

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Application/website recommendations are off-topic and out of scope. It is better instead to use a particular web app or website and ask for help in any issues you have with it specifically." – Vidar S. Ramdal, Al E., Eight Days of Malaise, Jacob Jan Tuinstra, ChrisF
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Google Spreadsheets has it

I've just checked today and I have to confirm that Google has implemented this feature that works much the same way as in Excel. I can select a range of cells whose values are used in data validation. The best part is they're displayed in an in-cell drop down menu!

YES! Thank you Google.

Few enhancements I'd add:

  1. Using a named range to supply values so we won't have to enter values manually or using a range from a different sheet.
  2. Select whether cells allow input or are values only able to be selected from a drop down (as a checkbox)
  3. Use formatting of source cells when selecting a value (checkbox)

The closest thing google docs has is "List View" which lists all values for a column within a table - probably not going to be what you need though.

Apparently SmartSheet can use dropdowns but I have not tried it, and it is not free (though there is a free trial).

Where did you find information that it supports dropdowns? –  Robert Koritnik Jul 30 '10 at 20:45
From their website, here: smartsheet.com/help/column-actions –  JNK Jul 30 '10 at 21:02

I used the new slicer tool as a work around for this on my site in Excel web apps. It's a bit of a mess, I needed a couple of pivot tables in the background to act as the drop down but it works.

download the spreadsheet and unhide the sheets for a better look


I had the same kind of issue where I need to type/paste any type of data into a cell and at same time use the in-cell dro-down function or feature. After a long search I found collatebox. It is an online spreadsheet tool which supports this feature with ease. No need to bother about configuring or performing many steps to achieve the in-cell drop feature like Excel.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.