I want to place a dropdown in a cell in Google Sheets that contains a list of words for users to choose from.

I also want users to be able to ignore the words in the list and instead enter any number.

Currently, when a user inputs a value that is not in the list it displays an error message.

How can I allow users to select from the dropdown or enter a number without triggering an error?


1 Answer 1


You can do this by using dropdown that uses a range to populate its list.

Any user-entered numbers will be added to the dropdown for future users


Assumes your dropdowns are in Sheet1!D2:D. Adjust as necessary.

  1. Place your list of items you'd like in your dropdown somewhere in your spreadsheet. For example, in Sheet2!A:A
  2. In Sheet2!B1 place a formula that will dynamically create your dropdown list from your list items in Sheet2!A:A combined with a unique list of user-entered numbers. For example,
        FILTER(Sheet1!D2:D, ISNUMBER(Sheet1!D2:D))}
  3. Enter the following in your Data validation rule:
    1. Under Criteria select Dropdown (from a range)
    2. In the range place Sheet2!B:B
    3. Under Advanced options > If the data is invalid select Show a warning
  • I edited your question to include more detailed steps for inexperienced users. Please correct or rollback any changes you don't agree with. I will remove this comment once you acknowledge it.
    – Blindspots
    Jan 15 at 22:55

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