Select item from Excel drop-down list by pressing letter key

Posted on 2010-09-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have set up a drop-down list in Excel, using data validation to a list (named range).

How can I set up the list so that a user can press a letter key (or a sequence of keys) to bring the highlighted entry in the list to the first entry in the list beginning with the selected letter (or letters)?  This is standard behaviour in many other programs (including Autofilter in Excel 2003).

We are currently moving from Excel 2002/2003 to Excel 2010, so please specify if your response only works in certain versions of Excel.

(Please note: I know that it is possible to have a similar result using combo-boxes, but at this stage I do not want to convert my spreadsheets to using ActiveX/controls.)

Thanks for your help.
Question by:Let's Go
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 85

Accepted Solution

Rory Archibald earned 2000 total points
ID: 33660376
There is no easy way with Data Validation - see this thread for one way: http:/Q_21987780.html
The alternative (without using controls) is to have all the valid values listed in hidden rows above your data and allow the cell autocomplete to do it for you.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 33662007
Remove the Data Validation and use a combo box.
Scott C
LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 33662041
Please note the 'Please note' part of the original post... ;)
Independent Software Vendors: We Want Your Opinion

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 33663297
I saw the 'please note'.  But the only realistic way is to use a combo.

Author Comment

by:Let's Go
ID: 33668466
Thanks, for your comments.

clarkscott, unfortunately, comboboxes are not practical with my spreadsheets which have large numbers of drop-down lists in many different cells.

rorya, your idea of using hidden rows is interesting.

It sounds like the real answer is "this cannot be done; put in a feature request with Microsoft".  This is not what I was hoping for, but seems to be the case.

I will leave this question open for another day or so, in case someone else has an idea, before accepting rorya's answer.

Thanks again for your help.

Author Comment

by:Let's Go
ID: 34107717

Featured Post

Free Tool: IP Lookup

Get more info about an IP address or domain name, such as organization, abuse contacts and geolocation.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Some code to ensure data integrity when using macros within Excel. Also included code that helps secure your data within an Excel workbook.
This article describes a serious pitfall that can happen when deleting shapes using VBA.
Graphs within dashboards are meant to be dynamic, representing data from a period of time that will change each time the dashboard is updated with new data. Rather than update each graph to point to a different set within a static set of data, t…
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate on a Mac how to change the sort order for chart legend values and decrpyt the intimidating chart menu.

764 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question