Monday, December 1, 2014

How to keep Excel drop down list arrows visible

A useful feature in Excel is the drop down list but currently there is no way for a user opening a spreadsheet to be able to tell what cells contain drop down lists without clicking on them. A simple solution that I've used in the past, such as on my personal finance tracking spreadsheet, is to fill all the cells containing drop down lists with the same color.

If you choose this option, you should make a key or insert a text box with a note that the user will see as soon as the spreadsheet is opened.


Another option that's pretty cool is to make a "fake" arrow that is always visible. This video tutorial from Excel Campus shows you exactly how to do so: 


Bill "Mr Excel" Jelen also has a few hacks to make it appear the drop down arrows are always visible that he shares on his YouTube channel (and his was one of the ones featured in my list of 11 best Excel video tutorial channels):



Sorry that the title of this post is a little deceiving as there really is no "good' way to keep Excel drop down list arrows visible but there are some alternative methods. Which of these "hacks" do you like the best? Or do you have your own solution? Or is it never a problem to you?