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2. Hacking Excel’s Built-in Features > 37. Automatically Add Data to a Validati...

Automatically Add Data to a Validation List

The validation feature in Excel is great, but there is one key thing it cannot do (without the following hack): automatically add a new entry to the list being used as the source for the validation list.

If you have used validation, you know it’s a neat feature. Perhaps most impressive is its ability to add a list to any cell from which the user can then select. Wouldn’t it be nice if, when you enter a new name in a validated cell, Excel automatically adds it to the list? This is possible, thanks to the following hack.

Assume you have a list of names in the range A1:A10, as in Figure 2-24.

Workbook set up for validation list
Figure 2-24. Workbook set up for validation list

These names represent employees in a company. It is not uncommon for new employees to be added to such a list, but at present, the only way to achieve this is to add the new names to the end of the list and then select the new names from the list in the validated cell.


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