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Make a drop-down arrow in a Data Validation List Box Visible

Posted on 2014-11-20
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Last Modified: 2014-12-16
Hello -

How do I make the drop-down arrow remain visible for a list of values using Data Validation?
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Question by:angelfromabove
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7 Comments
 
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Martin Liss
ID: 40456365
Do you mean this?
????If so I don't think it's possible, but if your aim is to let your users know where they are you could color or outline the cell, etc.
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

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Wayne Taylor (webtubbs) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40456407
Data Validation drop-downs will only show the arrow when the cell is selected. As Martin mentioned, you can highlight the cell another way.

However, if you want a drop down to remain visible at all times, you can add a ComboBox from the Forms controls, found under "Insert" on the Developer tab of the ribbon....

Forms Combobox
You can then resize the control to the desired size. To set it's properties, right-click the control and select "Format Control". On the "Control" tab, enter the range for the input range (items in the drop-down), and the linked cell, which is the cell that will contain index of the selected item from the drop-down. I generally like to set this to the cell beneath the ComboBox so it is hidden. You can then obtain the actual value using the INDEX function....

    =INDEX(A1:A10, B1)

...where A1:A10 is the input range and B1 is the linked cell.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Rob Henson
ID: 40457117
Also, with Data Validation, the arrow only appears if the Data Validation option is set to List.
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Author Comment

by:angelfromabove
ID: 40457427
Thanks all - It appears that this arrow won't remain visible unless I use a Combo Box as Wayne has suggested.

Wayne: Where should I place that Index formula?  I have my Data Validation List drop-down list set up to work with a Scorecard. The way it works is, when I select a value from the drop-down list, I have a series of V-lookups in the cells below referring to the value in the Data Validation Cell and pulling data from other sources based on that value. Will the combo box work in the same fashion if I refer to the linked cell in my Vlookup formulas? Where and how does the index formula fit in?

Thanks!
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:Martin Liss
ID: 40457495
You'll find that the text of the Forms combobox is very small.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 40460169
Instead of using a VLOOKUP with Wayne Taylor's combobox, I suggest using an INDEX formula. Let's suppose that A2 is the linked cell and that your lookup table is in AA2:AZ100. Your formula might be either of:
=IFERROR(INDEX($AA$2:$AZ$100,$A2, 3),"")           return information from column AC of lookup table
=IFERROR(INDEX(AC$2:AC$100,$A2),"")

Both of the formulas above are designed to be copied across to return data from successive columns.

Cheers!

Brad
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Rob Henson
ID: 40461932
Another option would be to instigate the Pick From list option that is in the right click menu for a cell.

This assumes that you are entering a value into a cell immediately after a previous list. The List generated shows all values in the cells above. Therefore, if you were to replicate all possible values (in hidden rows if required) above your table but in the same column, as you complete the list row by row, the list options can be selected.

This can be forced to appear whenever a cell in that column is selected using a simple VBA routine.

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)

If ActiveCell.Column = 1 And ActiveCell.Row < 20 Then SendKeys ("%{Down}")

End Sub

Open in new window

This will initiate the drop down list on any cell in column A and above row 20. If not in the cell immediately below the last entry, the dropdown list will be blank.

Thanks
Rob H
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