How to Add Yes/No Drop-Down Lists in Google Sheets

Step-by-step tutorials on how you can add, remove, and expand a yes/no drop-down list in Google Sheets. Eliminate errors via this data collection method!

I’m pretty sure that the first thing you had in mind was to simply write “Y” or “N” to the cell to indicate that the answer is yes or no, respectively. But what if someone typed “y” or “n” instead of “Y” or “N”? What will also happen next once you begin processing the “Y”s and the “N”s in the spreadsheets?

It turns out that adding drop-down lists would be much easier for everyone using the spreadsheets. Primarily, this will ensure error-free data collection. Another one is that it would make it easier to fill up if you are using your smartphones. You could simply click the option instead of typing whole words via the keyboard:

Drop-down list on Google Sheets spreadsheets accessed via smartphone

Now let us learn how to add yes/no drop-down lists, using a spreadsheet containing records of payment for membership dues as an example.

Add A Yes/No Drop-Down List

Step 1: Select the range of cells where you want to add the yes/no drop-down list.

Step 2: Click on the Data option in the menu.

Step 3: A drop-down list will appear. Click on the “Data validation”.

Data validation highlighted from drop-down menu after clicking Data menu

A window for Data Validation will then appear:

Data Validation window, with cell range, criteria.
If you want to check or change the cell range, you can click on the window-like symbol in the cell range. Else, we can continue adding the items to the drop-down box.

Step 4: On the right of the Criteria label is a drop-down box where we can select where to get the list of items for the drop-down box. Select “List of items”.

Data Validation window, with List of items highlighted from the drop-down menu of Criteria

Step 5: After selecting “List of items”, you can now type the items on the text box on the right side. Enter the items separated by comma, but do not leave space after the comma. Type “Yes,No”. 

Yes and No listed as Yes,No in the list of items for drop-down menu

Step 6: Click save. The range of cells selected will now contain drop-down lists. You can now begin filling them up one-by-one. 

Spreadsheet with drop-down lists on cells, some selected with Yes and No

Remove the Yes/No Drop-Down List from a Cell

If you no longer need the drop-down list from a certain cell (or a group of cells), then you can do the following:

Step 1: Select the cell or the range of cells with the drop-down list.

Step 2: Click on the Data option in the menu, and then click on the “Data validation” from the drop-down list.

Step 3: Click on Remove validation.

Data validation window, with Remove validation on lower-right corner selected
The drop-down list is now gone.

Add More Than Yes/No to Drop-Down List

If you need to add more details than a Yes/No could give, then you could simply follow the same steps as above, adding other options as needed. One example would be:

Data validation window but with additional Not Registered option added

The third option, “Not Registered” would indicate that the member is not yet registered on that year. We now have the following output:

No, Not Registered, and Yes as options in the drop-down box

Now that you have seen how to do it, it might be a little longer to implement, but nonetheless you would agree that a little extra time you took in adding them will make the data collection faster and smoother!

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