Allow Other Entries With Excel Drop Down List

Allow Other Entries With Excel Drop Down List

To make data entry easier, add a drop down list on an Excel worksheet. That way, people can choose from the list, instead of typing a product name. If you want to allow other entries with Excel drop down list, follow the steps below, to enable that option.

Drop Down List on 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 need to allow other entries in those data entry cells — not just the items in the drop down list.

For example, people might need to add a new product name, or add a new employee’s name to a data entry cell.

To allow other entries, you can turn off the Error Alerts in the data validation cells. Here are the steps to change that setting.

To turn off Error Alerts:
  1. Select all the data validation cells where you want to allow invalid entries
  2. On the Excel 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 select an item in the drop down list, or you can type any value in the cell, whether the item is valid or invalid.

Data Validation Tips

For more data validation tips, please visit  my Contextures website, where I’ve recently updated the Data Validation Intro page.

The page includes the steps for inserting a named table, and using that table as a dynamic source list for the drop down list items.

This animated screen shot shows how to type a one-word name in the Name Box, to name the items in the Employees table.