The drop-down lists are useful when you are creating data entry forms or creating interactive dashboards to present your data. While creating drop-down lists, you may come across situations where one drop-down list need to be populated dynamically as the value of the other drop-down changed. In other words, it needs to create dependent drop-down lists.
Creating a dependent drop-down list is very easy in Google Sheet compared to Microsoft Excel. Here I am using the
Let’s say you are going to create a data entry form which consists of two fields with drop-down lists namely “Region” and “Country“. A region consists of many countries. The country drop-down list should be populated dynamically as the region changed.
Creating Main Drop-down List
This is straightforward. You can use data validation option to create the main drop-down list. First, select the cell you want to create the drop-down list. Then go to Data> Data Validation. In the popup window, for the first box of the criteria field select “List from a range” (yes it is the default option). Select the region range for the second box (Data range). Here I have named the range as “Regions“. So I type the range as Regions. Add validation text as necessary and click Save. Now your main drop-down is ready, and it shows only the unique values in the list.
Creating the Dependent Drop-down List
To create this list, first, create the candidate list by filtering the country list by the selection of the main list. For this purpose, I am going to use
=query(CountriesByRegion,"select B where A='"&RegionDL&"'")
In the above function, I have used “Named Ranges” to make the function more readable. “A” and “B” are column labels.
Now you can use this list to create another data validation rule for the country drop-down list (dependent list) as we created the region list (main list) at the beginning.
You can make a copy above Google Sheet from this link.
You can apply the dependent dropdown list to only one cell using this method. If you want to apply the dependent dropdown list in multiple rows, you may read; “How to Create a Dependent Dropdown List in Google Sheets and apply to Multiple Rows“.