Importing Custom Lists

Custom lists are a rather esoteric Excel feature that allows you to specify ordered lists of information for virtually any purpose. For instance, a list might include a series of classes or workshops, or it might include a series of employee names. Custom lists can be used when sorting data tables, and they can be used by the AutoFill feature.

How you create a custom list from scratch has been covered in other issues of ExcelTips. Rather than creating a list from scratch, however, you might find it easier to import a list from a series of cells already in your worksheet. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Excel Options dialog box. (In Excel 2007 click the Office button and then click Excel Options. In Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. If you are using Excel 2007, make sure Popular is selected at the left of the dialog box. If you are using Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, click Advanced and then scroll toward the end of the options until you see the General area.
  3. Click Edit Custom Lists. Excel displays the Custom Lists dialog box and hides the Excel Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Custom Lists dialog box.

  5. Click once in the Import List from Cells box.
  6. Either enter the address range that contains the list you want imported, or use the mouse to select the range on the worksheet.
  7. Click Import. The values from the selected cells are listed in the List Entries box.
  8. Click OK to close the Custom Lists dialog box. The Excel Options dialog box reappears.
  9. Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box.

You can now use the custom list as you would any other custom list in Excel.