Using the Data Validation Feature in Excel  

Have you ever wished for a way to limit the data in an Excel cell to match certain parameters?  If so, the Data Validation feature located under the Data tab in the Data Tools group is for you!  It is a feature that is simple to use and offers several options.

Let’s say that the name of your column in Excel is Paid and the correct response in the cells of this column is either Yes or No.  To limit the values for this column to either Yes or No, do the following:

Select the cells you wish to limit to a value of either Yes or No.  Click the DATA tab; in the Data Tools Group click the Data Validation button.  The dialog box shown below will open.  Click the down arrow in the Allow text box and choose List.  Click in the Source box and type Yes, No as shown below.  This will limit the data input for the selected cells to accepting only Yes or No in the cell.

Validation Yes No box

The cells to which the validation is applied will also have a drop down arrow allowing the user to select either Yes or No from the drop down list when the cell is selected.

If you click the Input Message tab, you may enter a short message telling the user the values that may be entered in the selected cell.  When one of the restricted cells is selected, the message you see at left will appear.

Validation Message

Could it be any easier?

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