I was wondering if there was a way to fill in a cell depending on the choice a user makes in a drop down list. For simplicity sake, I'll use an analogous situation to the one I'm facing.

Right now I have a drop down list in one cell, so like you can choose from Dog, Cat, Bird, and Frog. Then I have Column A with 30 entries, a mixture of those four animals. What I want to do is: when a person goes to the drop down list and chooses, say Cat, all the entries in Column A that match Cat are filled with a color. If they change their choice in the drop down list to Frog, then only entries in Column A that match Frog will be filled.

Is there a way to do this? I'm semi-familiar with conditional formatting and I feel like there's a way to do it with custom formulas, but I haven't messed with those yet. Any help you guys could give would be appreciated!


1 Answer 1


Use a conditional formatting rule like this:

Value is equal to:

...where A1 is the location of the drop-down list cell.

This will color the cells that match cell A1 with a color — always the same color. To use different colors for Cat, Dog, Frog, use several custom formula rules that compare a formatted cell to the drop-down list cell.


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