Add a Dropdown Menu to Excel

Today we'll look at how you can add a dropdown menu to cells in Excel for a budget spreadsheet.

Let’s say you are analyzing a budget to determine if an expense is a fixed cost or a variable cost. Fixed expenses like a mortgage or your rent don’t allow for much tweaking, but variable expenses like a water or electric bill might be opportunities for cost cutting.

Step 1: To begin, we are going to select the cells in the newly created Expense column.

Excel cell selection
Select the cells where you want a dropdown option.

Step 2: Go to the Data menu and select Data Validation. Change the Allow area to a List and for the source you will add your dropdown options, separated by a comma.

Excel dropdown menu
Data Validation options for dropdown menu.

You will now see a dropdown menu option for all the cells you selected in the first step.

Fixed or varable dropdown menu options
Choose Fixed or Variable with the newly created dropdown menu option.

Enjoy your new dropdown menus!

Jason Dittberner

Jason Dittberner

Data professional with an analytical mindset for solving complex business problems. 15+ years of experience using data-driven decisions for growing organizations.
Dallas - Ft Worth