searchable dropdown list


I'm on an imac—os is Big Sur, using Excel 16.43? I think.

I've got a 365 subscription.

Weirdly, in Google docs its simple to use data validation to set up a searchable dropdown list.

Today, I've just spent over an hour online with dozens of tutorials each more complicated and code-heavy than the last—trying to do the same thing in Excel. They all seem to be for much more experienced people than me. Often they show older versions of excel which don't have the same functions. 

And most of the tutorials are for preparing complicated databases getting info in multiple columns.

I have a giant list of categories I use to prepare my taxes. On an excel spreadsheet, I'll show a charge for face cream. The category for that is "personal care."  In Google Sheets I just enter the letters, pe and the list opens to show me personal care which I select.   It might ALSO show me "pets, or a few other categories.  No problem. Instead of 50 choices it's presented me with only 5 or six at most.  Is there really no simple way to create a simple but very long SEARCHABLE dropdown list in Excel?  Look how easy in google sheets:

2 Replies

Hi @mslaurie,


You can try using Excel Online, this feature is available now for the web version of Excel and excel team working hard soon to deploy to desktop versions.


Screenshot of Excel OnlineScreenshot of Excel Online


Regards, Faraz Shaikh | MCT, MIE, MOS Master, Excel Expert

If you find the above solution resolved your query don't forget mark as Official/Best Answer & like it to help the other members find it more.

I am waiting already a long time to be able to use the searchable validation list in Excel 365 Desktop version.
Please as soon as possible.
Thank you.