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6. Use Data Validation to Make Your Spreadsheet More Reliable

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In this video, you will add data validation to your “Categories” column.

In computer science, data validation is a process that ensures that a program uses clean, correct, and accurate data.

Accuracy is also essential for spreadsheets.

What happens, for example, if you misspell “restaurant” as you are labeling your data entries?

That value would not be added to your total.

One little mistake could throw off several of your calculations!

Use data validation to create a dropdown list right in your spreadsheet.

A dropdown list can save time and ensure accuracy.

Once you have labeled each item in your monthly budget, select the cell range where you classified each entry.

Select “Data” and “Validation”.

The criteria changes from “Number” to “List of items.”

The categories you created in each cell are listed here.

“Save” and return to the spreadsheet.

A small arrow appears in the corner of each cell.

Click the arrow.

A dropdown list appears.


As you add more entries, you can select the category from this list, rather than typing it in every time.

By selecting from the list, you avoid spelling errors that could interfere with your calculations.

You also save a lot of time by not having to type in the category for every entry.

Now, it’s your turn: Create a data validation list to ensure accuracy and save time categorizing your data.

Then, move on to the next video to visualize the expenditures in your spreadsheet.


  1. Create a data validation list to ensure accuracy and save time.