In Excel, at B3, I use data validation of List and entered:


In B2 I put the name of the range I defined. This works well. I enter the name of the range in B2, and B3 is updated with the list of the corresponding range.

Now I transfer my Excel worksheet to Google Sheets. And it no longer works. I just get the error:


And there aren't any items in the dropdown.

I read some old answers about this problem; one suggested to use ARRAYFORMULA like so:


but I still get an error:

Please enter a valid range

and it didn't allow me to save the validation.

What can I do?

1 Answer 1


Use a custom formula validation (not List), and enter the following formula:

=match(B3, indirect(B2), 0)
  • But I want a drop down list. I tried your code, the cell becomes empty.
    – GeneCode
    Nov 7, 2017 at 3:07
  • 1
    Well in this case, make the "List from a range" data validation from a new range (that is currently empty on your spreadsheet), and on the top of that new range put the =INDIRECT(B2) formula. No way around it. Works as tested.
    – ttarchala
    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:27

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