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Drop-Down List Font Sizes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Drop-Down List Font Sizes.

James asked if there was a way to increase the font size used in the column drop-down lists that appear when you enable the AutoFilter in Excel. He normally sets the zoom on his worksheet to 60% so that he can see more of the worksheet at once, and the drop-down list font is smaller still.

Unfortunately, there is no way to change the size of the font. The font size used for some Excel controls is modified whenever you change the display properties in Windows, but none of those affect the drop-down font, either.

Because the font size increases in proportion to the zoom factor used for a worksheet, there is one potential workaround. You could increase the zoom factor a significant amount, say to 100% or even 125%. Then, select the data in the worksheet and decrease the font size and adjust column widths so you can see as much of the worksheet as you could at the 60% zoom factor. The change in worksheet font size should not affect the drop-down font size. That should still be tied to the zoom factor, and now be large enough to easily read.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2086) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Drop-Down List Font Sizes.

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Comments for this tip:

Scarlet    26 Oct 2015, 11:00
My very simple solution was to use Conditional Fromatting. Choose 'New Rule" and then 'Format only cells that contain', after that choose 'Cell Value' 'equal to' and the value you would like to modify by clicking in 'Format Set'.
Kristy Graham    31 Aug 2015, 16:38
Michael, I tried to copy and paste your macro code, but it's not working for me. The only thing I should change is the range, right? Please help!
Tim    30 Oct 2014, 12:40
My advise is to dump Excel and go with Libre Office, it's free, and works perfectly. When I create a spread sheet with drop down boxes which I can read in Libre Calc and save it in Excel xlsx format, then open it with Excel, it reverts to that unreadable font! Microsoft really are the dumb kid's on the block when it comes to spread sheets. Even Lotus leaves it for dead.

And this is just one of it's fails.
Brent    02 Dec 2013, 08:42
I find that using the combo box from the Visual Basic tools is very flexible for being fancy like is requested in this tip. The developer can change the font, font size, font color, and font style (regular, italic, bold, etc.) properties of the text shown in the combo box list.
Michael (Micky) Avidan    02 Dec 2013, 08:19
U R more than welcome.
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)
Joseph Gomes    01 Dec 2013, 16:51
This tip is very helpful as I was looking for enlarging fonts in drop-down list.
Michael (Micky) Avidan    30 Nov 2013, 08:40
There is a very well known and easy way to handle that disadvantage.
One should add a small Event Macro into his Sheets module.
The example, below, demonstrates a zoom out of 150% when the user selecs one of the 9 cells in the range C2:C10.
This Range is "Data Validation" defined.

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
       If Intersect(Target, Range("C2:C10")) Is Nothing Then
          ActiveWindow.Zoom = 100
          ActiveWindow.Zoom = 150
       End If
End Sub

Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)

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