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How to create a custom list in Excel – Excelchat

Have you ever been forced to fill out the same type of data in a spreadsheet over and over again? Why not just create a custom list for it? Learning how to create a custom list is very essential, especially when you have the same data to fill every spreadsheets from time to time. This post provides a clear guide on how to create a custom list.

Note that there are two options to create custom lists. The first one is to do it manually by typing each value info in the list entries section, then clicking add. This route, however, has quite some limitations, one among them being that it can only allow a maximum of 255 characters. You can also create a custom list by importing data. We shall learn more about this option shortly.

Creating a custom list from existing list worksheet

When you have a list of items, you can simply import them to create your own custom list with it .To do this you will have to first highlight the data before going to the screen. This will enable you grab the range that you want to import. And while on the screen, all you will need to do is clock on import and then Excel will include the text for you.

Figure 1: Creating custom list

But in the event that you forgot to select the text you want to use to create a custom list, then you have to click on the box adjacent to the import button then select the cells that contain the information you want to create your new custom list. Note that unlike the manual option, when importing, our limit is not 255 characters but 2000.

After importing, we can finish up the process by simply clicking on the Okay button to close the window. It is crucial to remember that a custom list can only contain text data. In the even that you must have a custom list with dates and numbers, then you must also be able to create a List Entries field.

Before you start creating custom lists, you must first understand the kind of computer you are using. This is essential given that custom list settings are specific to each computer.

How to use custom lists

Once we have created a custom list, it becomes easy to use it. All we have to do is go to any cell and type in any entry from the list. Then, we will have to click on the small box on the bottom right corner. From this point, the list will fill the series automatically.


To better understand how to create custom lists in Excel 2010 or any other version, let us have a look at the following example;

Step 1: Open your sheet and type February in the first cell.

Step 2: From the first cell, click the lower right corner and drag it down to 5 other cells to the right.

Step 3: Release it.

Figure 2: Create custom list of Months of the year

The above steps will enable you auto-populate the cells to the right. Thus you will have a horizontal customized list from February to July.

For further understanding let us consider the below steps as well;

Step 4: In the Excel file, select File tab and click on options

Figure 3: Creating a custom list in Excel 2016 using built-in options

Step 5: The select Advanced from the menu that comes up

Step 6: Select Edit Custom List under the General section.

Figure 4: Editing custom lists

This will present you with an already built-in default lists of calendar months as well as days.

Here, you have the option of either creating your own custom list or importing one under List Entries section. To create a new custom list manually, click on the New List under custom Lists area and then manually enter your list.

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