Combo Box in Excel - A Comprehensive Guide

Excel Combo Box: How to Create and Use It

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Excel combo box, a powerful tool that allows you to create a drop-down list with selectable options. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, this article will provide you with step-by-step instructions, tips, and examples on how to use this feature in your spreadsheets.

What is an Excel Combo Box?

An Excel combo box is a form control that combines the functionality of a text box and a list box. It allows you to create a list of items that users can choose from, and it also lets them type their own values if needed. The combo box is a great way to make your spreadsheets more interactive, user-friendly, and professional-looking.

How to Create an Combo

To create an Excel combo box, you need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your Excel worksheet and select the cell where you want to place the combo box.
  2. Go to the Developer tab (if it’s not visible, enable it in the Excel Options).
  3. Click on the Insert button and select the Combo Box icon from the Form Controls section.
  4. Click and drag the mouse to draw the combo box in the cell.
  5. Right-click on the combo box and select Format Control.
  6. In the Format Control dialog box, go to the Control tab.
  7. In the Input range field, enter the range of cells that contain the items you want to show in the combo box (e.g., A1:A5).
  8. In the Cell link field, enter the cell where you want to display the selected item (e.g., B1).
  9. Click OK.

Congratulations! You have created your first Excel combo box. Now, when you click on the drop-down arrow of the combo box, you should see the list of items you specified, and when you select an item, the corresponding value should appear in the linked cell.

How to Customize an Excel Box

If you want to customize your Excel combo box, you have several options:

  • Change the font, size, color, or alignment of the combo box text and list.
  • Add a label or a tooltip to the combo box.
  • Change the arrow style or position of the combo box.
  • Use named ranges or dynamic ranges for the combo box items.

To access these options, right-click on the combo box and select Format Control, or go to the Developer tab and click on the Design Mode button to enter the design mode, where you can modify the properties of the combo box.

How to Use an Excel Box

Now that you know how to create and customize an Excel combo box, let’s see how you can use it in your spreadsheets. Here are some examples:

  • Create a dynamic chart that updates based on the selected value in the combo box.
  • Create a data validation rule that restricts input to the values in the combo box.
  • Create a conditional formatting rule that highlights cells based on the selected value in the combo box.
  • Create a macro that performs a specific action based on the selected value in the combo box.

The possibilities are endless, and the Excel combo box can save you time, reduce errors, and improve the user experience of your spreadsheets.


In this article, we have explained an Excel combo box, how to create and customize it, and how to use it in your spreadsheets. We hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us. Stay tuned for more Excel tips and tricks!


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