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: Importing Custom Lists.

Importing Custom Lists

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 23, 2021)

Custom lists are a rather esoteric Excel feature that allows you to specify ordered lists of information for virtually any purpose. For instance, a list might include a series of classes or workshops, or it might include a series of employee names. Custom lists can be used when sorting data tables, and they can be used by the AutoFill feature.

How you create a custom list from scratch has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips. Rather than creating a list from scratch, however, you might find it easier to import a list from a series of cells already in your worksheet. Follow these steps:

  1. Select Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Custom Lists tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Custom Lists tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Click once in the Import List from Cells box.
  5. Either enter the address range that contains the list you want imported, or use the mouse to select the range on the worksheet.
  6. Click Import. The values from the selected cells are listed in the List Entries box.
  7. Click OK to close the dialog box.

You can now use the custom list as you would any other custom list in Excel.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3044) 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: Importing Custom Lists.

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. ...

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