Status color Legend with Drop down box.

Copper Contributor

So I am currently working on a project for my job and I could really use this Status legend as shown in the picture below. Each one of the legends has its own color which I love. How do I turn these status OFF and ON as seen below the status and have it incorporated into my table where it shows Status and is a drop down so I can change the status of each of my modules.  I also need the color to work as well. I tried all the data validation possibilities and cant get it to work.  Thank you in advance for any help 

2 Replies
best response confirmed by Hans Vogelaar (MVP)


To create a status legend with a dropdown box that allows you to turn the status ON and OFF while maintaining the associated colors, you can use a combination of Excel features such as Conditional Formatting and Data Validation. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a Status Legend:

First, you will need to create a status legend with colors in a separate part of your worksheet. For example, you can have a table like this:



In Progress




On Hold


Not Started


Assign distinct colors to each status using Excel's font or cell color options.

  1. Set Up Data Validation Dropdown:

Now, go to the column where you want to use the dropdowns to select the status for each module.

    • Select the cells where you want the dropdowns.
    • Go to the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon.
    • Click "Data Validation" in the "Data Tools" group.
    • In the Data Validation dialog box, select the "List" option under "Allow."
    • In the "Source" field, enter =A2:A5 (assuming your status legend is in cells A2 through A5). This will create a dropdown with the status options.
  1. Conditional Formatting for Colors:

To apply the associated colors based on the selected status, you can use Conditional Formatting.

    • Select the cells with the dropdowns.
    • Go to the "Home" tab in the Excel ribbon.
    • Click "Conditional Formatting" and choose "New Rule."
    • In the "New Formatting Rule" dialog box, select "Use a formula to determine which cells to format."
    • In the "Format values where this formula is true" field, enter the following formula (assuming your status dropdowns are in column B and the legend is in column A):

=B2="In Progress"

Make sure to specify the status you want to associate with the color.

    • Click the "Format" button, go to the "Fill" tab, and choose the color you want to associate with that status (e.g., Green for "In Progress").
    • Click "OK" to confirm the formatting settings.
    • Repeat these steps for each status and its associated color.
  1. Test the Dropdowns:

Now, when you select a status from the dropdown in your table, the associated color should be applied to that cell.

This setup allows you to choose a status from the dropdown, and based on your selection, Excel will apply the corresponding color to the cell using Conditional Formatting. You can repeat the Conditional Formatting steps for each status and color combination you want to use in your table.

The text and steps were edited with the help of AI.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.

Was the answer useful? Mark them as helpful and like it!

This will help all forum participants.

Yes thank you for all your help