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Simple Data Validation in Excel

In this article, you will learn how to apply simple data validation to specific cells in Microsoft Excel.

What Is Data Validation

Data validation is a feature that ensures that only certain values are entered into specific cells.

For example, data validation can be used to ensure that only positive whole numbers are entered into cell C2.

Another instance would be to make sure that only values from a specified list are entered into a specific cell.

If you’re still confused, follow the simple example below.

Data Validation Example

In this example, we will show you how to add data validation to make sure only a whole number between 1 and 10 can be entered into cell C2.

Start by selecting cell C2.

Under the Data tab in the Excel Ribbon, under the Data Tools group, click on Data Validation.

The Data Validation dialog box appears.

Under the Settings tab:

  1. Select Whole number under Allow
  2. Select between under Data
  3. Enter a minimum of 0
  4. Enter a maximum of 10


Next, click on the Input Message tab.

Here you can create a custom input message that will be displayed anytime the data-validated cell is selected. Creating an input message is optional.

Under the Input Message tab:

  1. Check Show input message when cell is selected
  2. Enter a title for the message
  3. Enter an input message

Finally, click on the Error Alert tab.

If the user enters a value that does not comply with the data validation set in place, they will see an error alert message. This tab allows you to customize that message. Creating a custom error alert message is optional.

Under the Error Alert tab:

  1. Check Show error alert after invalid data is entered
  2. Enter a title for the message
  3. Enter an error message

Finally, click Ok.

Your data validation is now set in place. Test it out to see if it works.

And that’s how to apply and use simple data validation in Microsoft Excel.

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