Excel Guides

Setting Data Validation Input Messages in Excel

You can use data validation in Excel to restrict the type of data that users can enter into a cell. For example, you can use data validation to make sure a value is a number between 1 and 10, or that a date occurs in the future. When you set up data validation, you can also specify an input message that will appear when a user selects the cell. The input message can explain what type of data is allowed in the cell, and it can also include a default value.

To set an input message for data validation in Excel:

  1. Select the cell or range of cells that you want to apply data validation to.
  2. On the Data tab, in the Data Tools group, click Data Validation.
  3. In the Data Validation dialog box, on the Settings tab, do one or more of the following:
    • To specify that only certain values are allowed:
    • Under Allow, click Whole number, Decimal, Date, Time, Text length, or Custom. Then enter the minimum and maximum values that you want to allow.
    • To specify that only certain values are allowed:
    • To specify that only certain values are allowed:
    • To require a specific value:
    • To allow any value:

----- OR -----

  1. To allow any value:

Note:: To specify that only certain values are allowed (for example, whole numbers between 1 and 10), under Allow, click Whole number or Decimal, and then enter the minimum and maximum values that you want to allow.

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