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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: Making a Drop-Down List Indicator Visible.
Jack uses the data validation capabilities of Excel to create drop-down lists for some of the cells in his worksheet. Once the list is created, a drop-down indicator appears at the right side of the cell. The indicator only appears when the cell is selected, but Jack would like to make the indicator appear all the time, even when a different cell is selected.
There is no way to do this using data validation. Instead, you would need to use the Forms toolbar to create combo box controls or other types of controls, as these are visible all the time. (How you do this has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips.)
An alternative is to use some other way of "marking" the input cell. For instance, you could use color, text, or cell borders to mark the cell that uses the data validation. That way users could key in on the formatting and know that the cell can be used for input.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3173) 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: Making a Drop-Down List Indicator Visible.
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