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How to Color a Drop Down List in Google Sheets

Many users know how to create drop-down lists in Google Sheets, but not many people know that you can actually color these drop-down lists.

Adding color to your drop-down list can make it easier for users to select values from your lists.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add color to a drop-down list in Google Sheets

Table of Contents

Color a Drop-Down List

Creating Your Drop-Down List

Before we can add color, we have to actually create a drop-down list.

We will be using data validation to do this.

Here are the steps:

1. Select the cell where you want the drop-down list to appear, and in the top menu select Data


2. Then from the drop-down select Data validation


3. Then navigate to the Criteria section and set it to either “List from a range” or “List of items”. I will choose List of items in this example


4. In the text field next to Criteria, enter the values that you want users to select from your drop-down separated by a comma. Select Save when you are finished


5. You should now see a drop-down list in your cell with the options that you entered in step 4


Adding Color to Your Drop-Down List

Now that you have created your drop-down list, we can begin to add color to it.

To do this, we will be adding conditional formatting to it.

Here is how this is done:

1. Select the cell or cells that contain your drop-down list and in the top menu select Format>Conditional formatting


2. Under the Format rules, set the Format cells if option to “Text contains”


3. In the text field, type the text of your first drop-down list option. In my example this is Red. After entering the option into the text field, select the color that you want your drop-down list option to change to when selected. Select Done when you are finished


4. Select Add another rule and repeat this process for every option in your drop-down list


5. You should now see all the rules you have created that will highlight your drop-down list a certain color when selected


6. Here is how the drop-down list looks now. When an option is selected, the color is changed


Closing Thoughts

Color coding your drop-down list values can make it easier to use your drop-down lists.

Even though the color won’t change before anything is selected, it can be helpful to do this with your lists because after users make a few selections you will be able to tell things apart better by using colored values.

Hopefully, you found this helpful!

More Google Sheets Tutorials:
How to Color Code