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Excel Drop Down List Auto Find

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a drop-down list in Excel with hundreds of items available for selection.

But I cannot type the first letter and have it jump down to the first entry within the list.

For example, if I type an "f'", the list statys stationary at the first entry.  It forces me to constantly manually scroll down and select the entry when I find it.  

How can I fix/do this?

BTW, what is this type of feature called?  I know there is a technical name for it...
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Question by:HaimD
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Expert Comment

by:Jerry Miller
ID: 35220161
Check this out and see if this an autocomplete solution that works for you.

http://www.ozgrid.com/Excel/autocomplete-validation.htm
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35223180
This depends on what type of dropdown list you have.  If you have the list that shows up associated with Data Validation on a cell, then that is the style of dropdown.
If you have a "Forms" dropdown, you get the same thing.
However, if you use an ActiveX dropdown (also built into Excel) then you can get the functionality you seek.
For Excel 2003, you'll need to add the Controls Toolbox toolbar (found under View | Toolbars)
On there, locate the dropdown combo box and add it to the form.
Right-click and open the Properties window.  For the combo, you'll probably want to update:
* the LinkedCell property to match the location on the sheet where you want to save the selected Index of the value
* the ListFillRange property to match the hundreds of items to show
* MAYBE the Style property to change from "match as you type" (Combo style) to "match the first item with the letter you type" (List style)

when done, on that same toolbar, make sure to click on the Design button at the top (Triangle and pencil) to switch out of design mode into "run" mode.
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Author Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35298871
Thanks guys, but neither of these methods worked for me.  The first by jmiller1979 did not work as outlined in the link.  The second by rspahitz won't work becuase I cannot sort by the entries, nor filter, and copying per row is very difficult.  Am I out of luck then?
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35315149
I don't think the ActiveX Controls combobox requires that the items be sorted.  Why not give it a try.
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Author Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35315390
rspahitz,

I'm talking about sorting by rows of data, not sorting within the combobox itself...
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Author Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35777408
Due to lack of further responses and none of the answers , I take it that this cannot be done as I need in Excel 2003.  Thanks for offering suggestons....
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35777972
Sorry--I guess I missed your previous comment.

As I understand it, you have a combobox with an unsorted list of items and you want the items in the list to highlight as you type the letters of the items you're seeking.  The combobox should do that if set in the right mode.

However, what do you want if you type a second letter?  Does it count as the second letter of a lookup, or does it count as a new lookup's first letter?
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Author Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35778014
The second letter would add to the lookup.

For example:
Type "J", then it would go down to Jack.
Then type "o", then it would go down to John.
Then type "n", then it would go down to Jonathan.

...as an example...
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Accepted Solution

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rspahitz earned 500 total points
ID: 35778120
So I just added an ActiveX combobox to an Excel sheet.
I loaded it with data from cells a1:a10
I set the following property: MatchEntry = 0-fmMatchEntryFirstLetter
As needed, you can also change: Style = 2-fmStyleDropDownList
I click in it and type a letter and the first item appears without ever touching the dropdown portion.

Problem solved...?

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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35778135
Ah, I see your next post...change MatchEntry to 1-fmMatchEntryComplete
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35778246
Discussion continuing
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35778274
FYI
you will also need code like this to load the combobox with the desired data:

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
    Dim objCell As Range
   
    For Each objCell In Range("A1:a10")
        Me.ComboBox1.AddItem objCell.Value
    Next
End Sub

And instead of CommandButton1_Click, you may want it in another procedure such as Workbook_Open or Worksheet_Activate, or possibly whenever certain cells Change values.
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Author Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35778284
Thanks rspahitz...you already gave me the answer I was looking for...
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35786939
Are you still verifying the information I gave / do you need additional information?
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Author Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35787525
No thanks...I already accepted your solution.
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Expert Comment

by:rspahitz
ID: 35787718
Hmmm...for some reason the Accepted Solution is not appearing for me.  Can you review that?
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Author Closing Comment

by:HaimD
ID: 35787740
This answers the question posed, even though it didn't actually solve my particular problem.  Thanks though!
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