Data Validation in Excel – how to apply it to cells in your spreadsheet

Data Validation in Excel – how do I apply this in a spreadsheet? Watch the video to learn more

Data Validation in Excel: Excel iconThis week’s hint and tip is about how to apply and use data validation within Excel. This is on our Advanced Excel training course and covers where the option is found and how to apply it. We are going to go through it now below.


What it is and where to find it

Data validation is a feature in Excel that allows you to restrict what someone can enter into a spreadsheet. You can have a number of types of validation rules with number and list being a couple. The data validation option is found on the Data Tab and in the Data Tools section on the ribbon.


How to apply it in your spreadsheet

Firstly select the cell you want the data validation applied to. After that, go to the Data Tab and select the Data Validation button. This will bring up a window with 3 tabs.

First is the Settings tab. This is where you select the type of validation you want to apply and input the information that applies to it.

After that is the Input Message tab. This is where you type in a message explaining what the user needs to type into the cell.

Finally is the Error Alert tab. This is an important tab as it tells the user that they have typed something in incorrectly and how to fix it. The style of error you select is important, only the Stop style will prevent a user from entering incorrect data. However the other styles will allow the user to override the data validation.


The video below shows you where to find the data validation option and how to apply it to cells in your spreadsheet. This feature in Excel is very useful as it can prevent incorrect data from being entered into the spreadsheet.

Take a look below at the video to find out more and then try it out on your own computer!

We hope you have enjoyed this hint and tip on data validation in Excel. Why not take a look at our previous one on how to insert pictures in Word?