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Blanks in Data Validation List
Blanks in Data Validation List

How to Add a Blank Option as the First Choice in an Excel Data Validation List

There are instances when you need to have a blank option displayed by default in a data validation cell in Excel, like the example shown in the screenshot below. However, usually, blank options are not readily available in data validation. In this guide, we’ll explain how to add a blank choice as the first option in a data validation list in Excel.

Adding a Blank Option to the Data Validation List’s Beginning

Follow these four steps to accomplish this:

1. Insert a Blank Cell: Begin by inserting a blank cell above the data list you intend to use for creating the data validation list.

Insert a Blank Cell

2. Apply Data Validation: Select the cell or cells where you want to apply the data validation list. Next, navigate to the “Data” tab, click on “Data Validation,” and then choose “Data Validation” from the dropdown menu.

Adding A Blank Option in a Data Validation Drop Down List
Adding A Blank Option in a Data Validation Drop Down List

3. Configure Data Validation Settings: In the “Data Validation” dialog box, select “List” from the “Allow” dropdown menu. Then, choose the list that includes the blank cell you want to include in the data validation list. Make sure to uncheck the “Ignore blank” option to ensure the blank cell is considered.

Configure Data Validation Settings

4. Confirm Settings: Click “OK” to apply the data validation settings. You will now notice that the first option in the data validation dropdown is a blank entry.

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