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: Setting Data Validation Input Messages.

Setting Data Validation Input Messages

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 12, 2016)

2

Once you have defined a validation rule for the data in a cell, Excel allows you to easily define a message that should appear whenever the cell is selected. These messages are called input messages, and their purpose is to help the user understand what information they should enter in the cell. To enter a data validation input message, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell for which you want to define the messages.
  2. Choose the Validation option from the Data menu. Excel displays the Data Validation dialog box.
  3. Set any data validation rules desired.
  4. Click on the Input Message tab. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Input Message tab of the Data Validation dialog box.

  6. Enter a message in either field in the dialog box, as desired.
  7. Click on the OK button.

Notice that Excel allows you to specify both a title and body for your data validation message. The only difference between the two is that the title appears on its own line and is shown in a bold typeface. You can define any message you desire. When you later select the cell, the data validation messages appear in their own message box near the selected cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2854) 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: Setting Data Validation Input Messages.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Different Layout for a Portion of a Page

Got a document layout that requires a portion of the page to be in one layout and another portion to be in a different ...

Discover More

Setting Tab Stops Using the Tabs Dialog Box

Aligning different lines in your document is easy. Using the tab stops feature in Word, you can set four different types of ...

Discover More

Using Very Large Font Sizes

You can format your text to use some very, very large font sizes. The results you see from formatting with large fonts depend ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Handling Validation for Proper Latitude

When setting up Excel for data entry, you often have to be concerned with what values are acceptable. For example, if users ...

Discover More

Single-Use Drop-Down List

Want to create an easy drop-down list? You can do so by using the data validation features of Excel.

Discover More

Adding Pop-Up Documentation to a Cell

Want to have a small help screen pop up when a user selects a particular cell? This can be done by using data validation, as ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 8?

2016-04-22 08:37:50

Gemma

Hi, is there a way to have the option to autocomplete the options you have set it up in the dropdown list?
Meaning, you have got a list of options (could be thousands of it) and instead of having to find the one you need, you start typing it and it autocomplete with the ones are in the list. Is that posible and how?


2016-04-18 00:57:49

MIHA

please, how I can program pop-up of Validation Input Messages on opening of worksheet and do it according to logical check of other cell?


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share