Making Pop-up Menu Buttons for Excel Forms in Office 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

The official name of a pop-up menu in Excel 2011 for Mac is combo box. Don’t you just hate it when you have to use a pop-up menu that’s so big it doesn’t even fit on the screen? Pop-up menus work best when there are at least three but no more than 20 items to choose from. When you have fewer than three or more than 20 items to choose from in a list, use one of the other form control types.

Here’s how to make a pop-up menu button:

  1. While your form is unprotected, click the Combo Box control on the Developer tab of the Ribbon.

  2. Drag diagonally and then let go of the mouse.

    An empty pop-up menu button appears as selected on your worksheet.

  3. Right-click the new menu button and choose Format Control from the pop-up menu.

    The Format Control dialog displays.

  4. On the Control tab of the Format Control dialog, choose a range in a column that has the values you want to use to populate the control.

    Don’t include the header; include only cells that contain data. Blanks don’t look right in a control; so make sure your data is contiguous.

  5. On the Control tab of the Format Control dialog, set a cell link by clicking into the empty Cell Link field and then clicking a cell on any worksheet.

    The linked cell is indicated in the Cell Link field in the dialog. This is where the results of the form user’s selection will display.

  6. Click OK to close the Format Control dialog.

Click away from the control to deselect it and then click the pop-up menu button to see the list from which to choose. Make a selection, and the linked cell displays a number showing the count of how many places from the top of the list the selected item is. After a choice is made in the pop-up menu, the choice made displays within the control.