microsoft office excel

You may know how to create cascading validation drop down list in Excel. However, how to create dynamic cascading list boxes in Excel? This article introduces a VBA method to get it down.

As below screenshot shown, you need to create a parent list box contains the unique values of the Drink column, and display all the corresponding values in the second list box based on the selection in parent list box. The following VBA code helps you to achieve it. Please do as follows.

1. Firstly, you need to extract all unique values from the Drink column. Select a blank cell, enter array formula =IFERROR(INDEX($A$2:$A$11, MATCH(0,COUNTIF($J$1:J1, $A$2:$A$11), 0)),””) into the Formula Bar, and then press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter key. Then drag the Fill Handle to get all unique values. See screenshot:

Note: In the formula, $A$2:$A$11 is the range you will extract unique values from. J1 is the cell above where your formula is located.

Tip: If a formula is too hard to remember and handle, the Select Duplicate & Unique Cells utility of Kutools for Excel will be a good choice for you to quickly extract all unique values from a column.

Please select the column contains unique values you will extract from. Then enable the utility by clicking Kutools > Select > Select Duplicate & Unique Cells. In the Select Duplicate & Unique Cells dialog box, select the All unique (Including 1st duplicates) option and click the OK button. Then all unique values are selected in the column. Please copy and paste them to a new place. See screenshot:

2. Insert two list boxes separately by clicking Developer > Insert > List Box (ActiveX Control). See screenshot:

3. Right click the parent list box and select Properties from the context menu. In the Properties dialog box, change the (Name) field to Drink or other name as you need, enter the cell range contains the extracted unique values into the ListFillRange field and close the dialog.

4. Repeat the step 3 to change the second list box’s (Name) field to Item in the Properties dialog box.

5. Right click the sheet tab and select View Code from the right clicking menu. Then copy below VBA code into the Code window. See screenshot:

VBA code: Create dynamic cascading list boxes in Excel

Dim xPreStr As String
Private Sub Drink_Click()
'Update by Extendoffice 2018/06/04
    Dim I, xRows As Long
    Dim xRg As Range
    Dim xRegStr As String
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    xRegStr = Me.Drink.Text
    Set xRg = Range("A2:A11")
    xRows = xRg.Rows.Count
    If xRegStr <> xPreStr Then
    Set xRg = xRg(1)
    For I = 1 To xRows
        If xRg.Offset(I - 1).Value = xRegStr Then
            Me.Item.AddItem xRg.Offset(I - 1, 1).Value
            'Me.OtherListBoxName.AddItem xRg.Offset(I - 1, 2).Value
        End If
    xPreStr = xRegStr
    End If
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Notes: In the code Drink and Item are the names of two list boxes, change them to your own names.

6. Press the Alt + Q keys to close the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

7. Turn off the Design Mode by clicking Developer > Design Mode.

From now on, when selecting any kind of drink such as Coffee in the parent list box, all coffee items will be displayed in the second one. Select Tea or Wine will only display the tea or wine items in the second list box. See screenshot: