Excel has options allowing you to restrict cell entry so data is kept accurate and consistent.
The Data Validation button is found on the Data tab. Selecting it brings up a window letting you limit the active cell or range values based on one of several validation criteria choices.
One of those is List, a drop-down that houses a set of predefined values, either entered directly within the Data Validation window or sourced from a worksheet range.
Unfortunately, drop-downs have a fundamental design fault.
Ask any UI or UX designer, and they’ll inevitably tell you about the importance of users knowing what’s clickable in an interface.
The problem is Excel’s drop-downs are only visible beside the active cell on the right side, denoted by a square with a tiny inverted triangle.
Page 3 might contain a rather contrived example, but it hammers home an important point: you wouldn’t know a cell has a dropdown unless it’s active.
Sure, we can use text labels, fill colour, and borders to compensate for this, but why should we have to? There is no substitute for a dropdown indicator.
I can only think the reason it was designed this way has something to do with accommodating the identical-looking table column filter button, which does stay put when you click off the cell.
Would having both on the inside work? Or is there an alternative?
Regardless, I say it’s about time we got ‘always-on’ drop-downs.