Show Data Validation Message in Text Box

When you’re setting up data validation on a worksheet, you can include an Input Message, to help anyone who’s using the workbook.


You’ll have to get to the point quickly though – the message is limited to 255 characters.

There are other limitations too – you can’t control the size of the text box, and you can’t change its font size or fill colour, unless you change your Windows settings.

Show Input Message in a Text Box

As an alternative to the Input Message popup, you can show a message in a text box, at the top of the worksheet. In the text box, you can set the font type, font size, font colour, and fill colour, to suit your worksheet. 


The Input Message display is turned off, but the Title and Message are entered in the data validation window.


There is a sample file on my website that you can download, and instructions for this technique on my Contextures website: Display Input Messages in a Text Box

Show Longer Messages

The original sample file uses the input message text, which is limited to 255 characters. In an email, Richard G. asked about showing a longer message in the text box.

So, I’ve created a new sample file, that uses most of the code from the original example, and adds a new feature. Now, you can create a list of Input Message Titles, and the message that you want to display for those titles.


Then, when you click on a data validation cell, its title is used as a lookup in the messages table. If there is an entry for that title, the Additional Message text is added to the end of any existing Input Message text. Then, the entire text string is shown in the text box at the top of the worksheet.


Download the Sample File

To download either the original sample workbook, or the Longer Message sample file, please visit my Contextures website: Display Input Messages in a Text Box

The files are zipped, and they contain macros, so remember to enable macros when testing the files.