Excel VBA Drop Down Lists Using Data Validation

[Originally posted by]: http://software-solutions-online.com/excel-vba-drop-down-lists/

Excel VBA Drop Down Lists Using Data Validation

JUL 27, 2015

In this article I will explain how you can create drop down lists using data validation.

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You can download the file and code related to this article from the link below:


Creating Data Validation (Manually):

Step1 : In the first step you would need to print the data you are going to fill the drop down list with somewhere. Usually I open a new sheet, name it something no one would ever consider using (like “far43fq”) and print the data there.

Excel VBA, Drop Down Lists, Data Validation Data

Step 2: Select the cell you would like to add the drop down list to. Then click on the Data Validation button on the Data Ribbon:

Adding a Data Validation to a specific cell, Excel VBA

Step 3: Select list:

Selecting the list type data validation from the list of available data validation types excel vba

Step 4: Input the range of the data. If the drop down list (data validation) and the data are in the same sheet you would reference them using a statement like “=A1:A6”. If they are in separate sheets you would use a statement like “=SheetName!A1:A6”, where “SheetName” is replaced with the name of the sheet.

Excel VBA, Drop Down Lists, Data Validation Input Data

Note: I this example the input data is in another sheet. The name of the sheet is Sheet1″.

After pressing Ok your drop down list is ready:

A drop down list created using data validation


Creating Data Validation (Using VBA):

Using the code below a drop down list (data validation) will be created in the cell “J2” . The data for the drop down list will come from the range “=A1:A6” in the sheet “Sheet1”. Note you must change the highlighted parts based on the location of your source and the location for your drop down list:

Private Sub main()
	'replace "J2" with the cell you want to insert the drop down list 
	With Range("J2").Validation
		.Delete 
		'replace "=A1:A6" with the range the data is in. 
		.Add Type:=xlValidateList, AlertStyle:=xlValidAlertStop, _
		Operator:= xlBetween, Formula1:="=Sheet1!A1:A6" 
		.IgnoreBlank = True 
		.InCellDropdown = True 
		.InputTitle = "" 
		.ErrorTitle = "" 
		.InputMessage = "" 
		.ErrorMessage = "" 
		.ShowInput = True 
		.ShowError = True 
	End With 
End Sub

 


Selection Change:

The data validation itself doesn’t have a built in function for determining when the user hasselected a new value. Though you could use the worksheet_change event handler to determine when the user has selected a new value from the drop down list.  Theworksheet_change event triggers every time changes are made to a worksheet. You could use the worksheet_change event handler to catch this event and check if the changes made were to the value selected in the drop down list.

The code below is a worksheet_change event handler. It checks if the changes in the worksheet have occurred in the cell with the drop down list or not:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    If Target.Address = Range("J2").Address Then 
        'your code 
    End If 
End Sub 

Modifying, Adding, Inserting and Removing Items (Usin VBA):

In order to modify, add, insert and remove items from a drop down list created using data validation, you would have to follow 2 steps.

Step 1: The first thing you would have to do is change the source data. For example lets say we want to modify the second item to “New Item 2”,  we would need to change thedata validation’s source to the values below:

Excel VBA, Drop Down Lists, Data Validation Data, Modified Data
Or for example lets say we want to add an item to the list of items. Again the first thing would be to modify the source data:

Excel VBA, Drop Down Lists, Data Validation Data, Modified Data 2
Or for example lets say we want to remove “item 4”. Again the first step would be tomodify the source data:

Excel VBA, Drop Down Lists, Data Validation Data, Modified Data 3
Step 2: In the next step we need to update the drop down list to accommodate for the changes made in its source. This can be done using the code below. The code below must be copied to the sheet with the source data. The highlighted parts must be changed based on the location of your source data and the location you would like the drop down list to appear:

Option Explicit
Dim flagProgram As Boolean 

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    Dim intRowCount As Integer 
    If flagProgram = False Then 
	flagProgram = True 
	  
	'get the total rows of data 
	intRowCount = Get_Count 
	'update the drop down list(data validation) 
	Call Update_DataValidation(intRowCount) 
	   
	flagProgram = False 
    End If 
End Sub

'This function will return the total count of rows in the 
'drop down list(data validation) source 
Private Function Get_Count() As Integer 
    'counter 
    Dim i As Integer 
    'determines if the we have reached the end 
    Dim flag As Boolean 

    i = 1
    flag = True
    While flag = True
	If Cells(i, 1) <> "" Then 
  	    'if there is still data go on 
	    i = i + 1 
	Else 
	    'if there is no more data left stop the loop 
	    flag = False 
	End If 
    Wend 

    'return the total row count 
    Get_Count = i - 1
End Function 

'the function below updates the source range for the data validation 
'based on the number of rows provided by the input 
Private Sub Update_DataValidation(ByVal intRow As Integer)
    'the reference string to the source range 
    Dim strSourceRange As String 

    strSourceRange = "=Sheet1!A1:A" + Strings.Trim(Str(intRow))
    With Sheet2.Range("J2").Validation
	.Delete 
	.Add Type:=xlValidateList, AlertStyle:=xlValidAlertStop, _ 
	Operator:= xlBetween, Formula1:=strSourceRange 
	.IgnoreBlank = True 
	.InCellDropdown = True 
	.InputTitle = "" 
	.ErrorTitle = "" 
	.InputMessage = "" 
	.ErrorMessage = "" 
	.ShowInput = True 
	.ShowError = True 
    End With 
End Sub

The code above has 3 different function. The main function is Worksheet_Change event handler. The event handler executes when the user makes changes to the sheet with the source data:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
...
End Sub 

flagProgram determines if the current changes made to the sheet have been done by the program or the user. This is to prevent an endless recursion of the Worksheet_Changeevent handler:

If flagProgram = False Then 
    flagProgram = True 
    ... 
    flagProgram = False 
End If

The line below gets the number of rows in the source for the data validation. This value must be checked each time to account for added and removed items:

intRowCount = Get_Count

The function Update_DataValidation updates the data validation based on the input parameter intRow. The input parameter intRow determines how many rows of data thedrop down list must use. The first line of this function creates a string which is a reference to the range with the source data:

strSourceRange = "=Sheet1!A1:A" + Strings.Trim(Str(intRow))

Note the highlighted section must changed if your source data is not in Sheet1 starting from cell A1. The resulting string will be something like this:

“=Sheet1!A1:A5”

or

“=Sheet1!A1:A7”

For more information about string processing and manipulation please see the link below:

The rest of the lines in the function Update_DataValidation creates a drop down list in the cell “J2” in sheet2.

You can download the file and code related to this article from the link below:

See also:

If you need assistance with your code, or you are looking to hire a VBA programmer feel free tocontact me. Also please visit my website  www.software-solutions-online.com

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