How to Create a Dropdown List with Symbols in Excel

Creating a dropdown list in your Excel worksheet is easy, as long as it’s a normal dropdown menu. But what if you have to make it special by adding special symbols or make it extra special by adding some text also along with the symbols? Well, sounds interesting but wondering whether it’s even possible? What do you not have an answer for, when Geek Page is always here to help?

This article is all about creating dropdown menus, with symbols and also with symbols & texts. Hope you enjoy reading the article!

Also Read: How to Add a Dropdown Menu in Microsoft Excel

Section 1: Create a Dropdown List with Only Symbols

To create a dropdown menu with symbols, we first need to create the source list from where the symbols will be taken to populate the dropdown menu.

Let’s see how we can create the symbol source list and how we can use this source list to then populate the dropdown menu.

Step 1: Firstly, click on the cell where you want to insert the first symbol.

Once the cell is selected, click on the INSERT tab at the top and then click on the button named Symbols.

 

1 Insert Symbol Min

 

Step 2: Now, from the list of options available under Symbols, click on the one that says Symbol.



 

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Step 3: You will now be able to see all the special symbols that you can insert into your Excel sheet.

Note: You can do some filtering using the Subset dropdown menu in the Symbol window.

Click on the symbol you want to insert and then hit the Insert button.

In the example below, I have chosen to insert the symbol named Indian Rupee Sign.

 

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Step 4: You will now be able to see in the background that the symbol has been inserted. Hit the Close button to close the Symbol window.

 

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Step 5: Now let’s add the second symbol to our source list. For that, select the second cell where you want the second symbol to be inserted, right below the first one preferably.

Now as before, hit the INSERT tab at the top, click on the dropdown menu named Symbols, and then hit the Symbol option.

 

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Step 6: You can now select the symbol to insert. If you want to insert multiple symbols in the same cell, select the first symbol, hit the Insert button, select the second symbol, hit the Insert button again, and so on.

Once you are done inserting all the symbols you want, hit the Close button.

In the example below, I have inserted 2 symbols.

 

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Step 7: Similarly, I have added 2 more rows to my source list, containing symbols.

Once the source list is created, click on the cell where you want the dropdown menu to be created.

 

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Step 8: Make sure the cell is selected, where you want the dropdown menu of symbols to be created.

As next, hit the DATA tab at the top ribbon. Now click on the Data Validation dropdown menu and then click on the Data Validation option.

 

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Step 9: On the Data Validation window, hit the Settings tab first.

Now, choose List from the list of options available under the Allow dropdown menu.

As next, click on the Minimize icon associated with the Source field to choose your symbol source list from the Excel sheet.



 

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Step 10: Simply click and drag to select the symbol source list that you created.

Now the Data Validation window will be automatically populated. In green, this is marked in the screenshot below.

Hit the Expand icon to go back to the Data Validation window.

 

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Step 11: Simply hit the OK button.

 

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Step 12: Now if you click on the cell where the dropdown menu is inserted, you can see your own custom-made symbol dropdown list. Enjoy!

 

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Section 2: Create a Dropdown List with a Combination of Symbols and Text

Now let’s say you want to create a dropdown menu of symbols, but you want to associate some text also to your symbols. For this, we need to have 2 columns. One for the symbols and one for the texts. And then we will combine these 2 columns and make it the source list for our new dropdown list with symbols and texts.

Firstly, we need the symbol source list column that we created in the section above and secondly, we need the text column that you want to associate with each of your symbols.

Once you have both the columns ready, head onto the steps below to associate them perfectly and make a wonderful dropdown menu out of it.

Step 1: Create one more column where your symbols and texts will be combined.

Double click on the first cell of the newly created column.

Now, copy and paste the following formula onto it, to concatenate the symbols and the texts.

=A2 & " : " & B2

Note: A2 is the cell where the first symbol is present and B2 is the cell where the first text is present. If your values are present inside some other cells, please replace A2 and B2 with those respective cell ids. Also, : symbol is used as an association operator. You can use any other association, you can even leave it blank, or skip it altogether.

Once you have written the formula inside one cell, let’s drag the formula down and apply it across all the cells underneath it, in the same column.

Simply click on the small square shape present at the bottom right corner of the cell where you applied the formula and then drag it down.

 

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Step 2: Viola, your symbols and texts are now combined. Let’s now use this column to create a dropdown menu with it.



 

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Step 3: Click on the cell where you want to create the dropdown menu first.

Hit the DATA tab at the top ribbon, click on the Data Validation dropdown menu and then click on the Data Validation option from the menu options available.

 

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Step 4: On the Data Validation window, click on the Settings tab first. From the Allow dropdown menu, click on the List option.

Now, just like in the previous section, use the minimize and expand icons against the Source field to select the list of symbols and texts association, which is basically the column named Combined Value in the screenshot below.

Hit the OK button once done.

 

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Step 5: That’s it. You can now flaunt your brand new dropdown menu which has both texts and symbols in it. Enjoy!

 

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If you have any concerns regarding any of the steps, please do drop us a comment, we are always happy to help.

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