Creating a Drop-Down Menu in Google Sheets: Adding a Calendar to a Cell

Hello and welcome to this post today. I will demonstrate how to create customizable drop-down menus that I frequently add to my products. These drop-downs dynamically populate with the elements you enter into the associated table. I’ll guide you through the process of achieving this functionality.

I’ll show you how to implement a feature where you can double-click on a cell, and a calendar will appear. This allows you to easily format dates according to your preferences. Although I won’t cover the entire implementation in this post, I’ll provide an example of how I utilize these two functionalities in my to-do list.

Let’s get started!

Data validation

To set up data validation, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Data” tab in the Google Sheets menu.
  2. Select “Data validation” from the dropdown menu.
  3. A dialog box will appear. Choose the “Date” option from the dropdown menu.
  4. Keep the default option “On invalid data” selected, which rejects any input that is not a valid date. However, you can choose “Show warning” if you prefer.
  5. You can add a validation help text if desired. For example, you can enter “Please enter a valid date.”
  6. Click “Save” to apply the data validation.

Now, when you double-click on a cell with data validation, a calendar will appear. Once you select a date from the calendar, it will be displayed in the cell. To customize the appearance of the date, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the cell containing the date.
  2. Go to the “Format” tab in the Google Sheets menu.
  3. Select “Number” and then choose “More formats” or “Custom number format.”
  4. From the options, choose “Custom date and time” to further customize the date format.

By following these steps, you can create drop-down menus and add a calendar functionality to your Google Sheets.

Custom date and time

This list offers various date formatting options. To customize the format, follow these steps:

  1. Select a desired format, such as the “Long” option.
  2. By clicking on the format, a dropdown menu will appear, showcasing different formatting options.
  3. For instance, if you prefer to display the month as an abbreviation, you can select that option. Similarly, you can choose to abbreviate the day.
  4. You can also add symbols between the day and month, like a comma or dash. In this example, let’s use a dash.
  5. The formatting will update to reflect your selections. If you change your mind, you can always revert it back to the original format.

If you wish to apply this formatting to multiple cells, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells you want to apply the formatting to.
  2. Repeat the formatting steps for the selected cells.

Now, let’s move on to building a drop-down menu. Start by writing down all the elements you want in the drop-down, visually organizing them in a table format. This step is purely for visual clarity and does not affect the functionality of the drop-down.

By following these instructions, you can customize the date format and create a drop-down menu in your Google Sheets.

Create the drop down

To create a drop-down menu using a list from a range, follow these steps:

  1. Select any cell where you want to create the drop-down menu.
  2. Click on the “Data” tab in the Google Sheets menu.
  3. Choose “Data validation” again.
  4. This time, select the option that says “List from range.”
  5. Click on the box next to it and select the range of cells that contain the elements for your drop-down menu. You can adjust the range as needed.
  6. Click “OK” to confirm the range selection.
  7. Choose the “Show warning” option to display a warning if invalid data is entered. Alternatively, you can select the “Reject input” option to prevent entering any data that is not in the list.
  8. Click “Save” to apply the data validation and create the drop-down menu.

Now, your drop-down menu will be created with all the elements from the selected range. If you add additional elements to the range, they will automatically appear in the drop-down menu. You can select an option from the drop-down or start typing to filter the options. If you enter an invalid input, the warning will be shown.

By following these steps, you can create a drop-down menu in Google Sheets that allows you to select options from a predefined list.

Invalid data

To create a drop-down menu with data validation that rejects invalid input and displays a custom error message, follow these steps:

  1. Select any cell where you want to apply the data validation.
  2. Click on the “Data” tab in the Google Sheets menu.
  3. Choose “Data validation” and select “List from range.”
  4. Click on the box next to it and select the range of cells that contain the elements for your drop-down menu.
  5. Click “OK” to confirm the range selection.
  6. Select the “Reject input” option to reject any input that is not in the list.
  7. Add a custom error message, such as “Please enter a valid element from the table.”
  8. Click “OK” to apply the data validation.

Now, the drop-down menu will include all the elements from the selected range. You can choose an option from the drop-down or type to filter the options. If you enter something that is not in the table, it will not be allowed, and an error message will be displayed. You can customize the error message to suit your needs.

If you delete an element from the list, and you had previously selected that element in the drop-down menu, a warning will appear because the element is no longer in the valid range.

By following these steps, you can create a drop-down menu with data validation that rejects invalid input and provides a custom error message in Google Sheets.

You can check out the demo video here:

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