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

Posted on 2010-09-12
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
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

Rory Archibald earned 500 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
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Expert Comment

by:Rory Archibald
ID: 33662041
Please note the 'Please note' part of the original post... ;)
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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

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