I'm working in a Google Docs spreadsheet where I've set up validation lists for a column. When I tab into that column as I'm editing a row, the drop-down handle appears:

Selected cell with drop-down list handle

In order to access values from the list, I have to move my hand from the keyboard to the mouse and then use the mouse to select the appropriate value.

I looked at the spreadsheet docs, but the only thing I saw in there was how to create these cells.

7 Answers 7


The new version of Google Sheets makes it very simple: hit the Enter key while you're in the cell. Boom. Dropdown list.

  • How do you select an item with the keyboard?
    – stepanian
    Mar 14, 2017 at 2:28
  • @stepanian with arrows (up/down)
    – user0
    Jul 25, 2018 at 0:18

This answer is out of date. It seems this is now resolved in the new Google Sheets.

I have been through all the keyboard shortcuts for Google Docs Spreadsheet and tried every logical key combination I can think of but I cannot find a key combination that will drop down the validation menu I'm afraid.

This is a glaring omission IMO. Particularly since you can go through the entire process of setting up the cell validation in the first place using just the keyboard!

This very same question on the Google Product forums from May 2011 has gone unanswered.

It would seem the mouse is the only option as far as I can tell unfortunately.

Just to note... Ctrl+/ is a handy keyboard shortcut to view all the keyboard shortcuts!


Just accidently ran into the solution. I hit F2 while I was on a drop down and it opened the drop down and I was able to scroll through my drop down and select the specific drop down item that I wanted.


In Google sheets, when the cell with a validation is the active cell hit the space bar and your list will appear. Use the arrow keys for up and down, hit return on the entry needed or hit escape to move on.


You can hit CTRL + Option + D to bring up the Data menu and then hit V for Validation. So in a quick succession, CTRL + Opt + D then V and you got it.


For Google sheets, you can simply click Enter key to reveal drop-down list. For Microsoft Excel you can click Alt + to reveal drop-down list.


They have added the shortcut for the same.

Try Ctrl + Alt + R

Edit: I thought this question was for the dropdown for the column filter and not validated cell values.

Use Enter for dropdown in validated cells


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