Allow Other Entries With Excel Drop Down List

You can make data entry easier by adding a drop down list on an Excel worksheet.


In most cases, you want people to select an item from the list, to prevent typos and invalid entries. If they try to type something that’s not in the list, they’ll see an error message, and will have to try again.

Allow Non-List Entries

In some workbooks though, you might want to allow other entries in those cells, in addition to the items in the drop down list.

To allow other entries, you can turn off the Error Alerts in the data validation cells.

To turn off Error Alerts:
  1. Select all the data validation cells
  2. On the Ribbon, click the Data tab, and click Data Validation
  3. Click the Error Alert tab
  4. Remove the check mark from "Show error alert after invalid data is entered"
  5. Click OK to close the Data Validation box.


With error alerts turned off, you will be able to edit the cell, after selecting an item in the drop down list, or enter any value in the cell.

Data Validation Tips

For more data validation tips, please visit  my Contextures website, where I’ve recently updated the Data Validation Intro page, for Excel 2010. It includes the steps for inserting a named table, and using that dynamic list as the source for the drop down list items.