How to Create a Drop-Down List in Word (A Step-by-Step Guide)

September 18, 2023 9.1K views

Efficiency and organization are paramount in today's fast-paced world. When crafting documents, interactive features can significantly enhance user experience. One such feature is the drop-down list, which streamlines data collection and form completion. However, standard drop-downs usually allow only one selection. In this article, we tackle this challenge, showing you how to create both single and multi-select drop-down lists in Word.

1. How to Add a Drop-Down List in Word?

Are you new to creating drop-down lists? Fear not! We provide a comprehensive guide, complete with step-by-step instructions and visual aids. Learn how to seamlessly integrate this interactive element into your documents. Check out the tutorial

Here are the steps on how to add a drop-down list in Word:

Step 1: Open the Word document where you want to add the drop-down list.

Step 2: Click the Developer tab. If you don't see this tab, go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon and check the Developer box.

Step 3: In the Controls group, click the Drop-Down List Content Control button.

Step 4: Place your cursor where you want the drop-down list to appear.

Step 5: The drop-down list will be inserted into your document. By default, it will have a single item, "Choose an item."

Step 6: To add items to the drop-down list, click the drop-down list and then click Properties.

Step 7: In the Drop-Down List Properties dialog box, click the Add button.

Step 8: Type the name of the item you want to add and then click OK.

Step 9: Repeat steps 8 and 9 to add more items to the drop-down list.

Step 10: When you're finished, click OK to close the Drop-Down List Properties dialog box.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when adding a drop-down list in Word:

  • You can also add a title to the drop-down list by typing it above or to the left of the drop-down list control.

  • You can hide the default "Choose an item" option by clearing the Include blank option checkbox in the Drop-Down List Properties dialog box.

  • You can also change the appearance of the drop-down list by changing the font, font size, and color.

2. How to Make a Drop-Down List in Word with Multiple Selections?

Want to enhance your drop-down list with multiple selections? Our tutorial guides you through the process. With clear explanations and visuals, you'll master the art of crafting versatile drop-downs. Dive into the tutorial:

Here are the steps on how to make a drop-down list in Word with multiple selections:

Step 1: Follow the steps in Part 1 to add a drop-down list in Word.

Step 2: After adding the drop-down list, click on it and then click Properties.

Step 3: In the Drop-Down List Properties dialog box, select the Allow multiple selections checkbox.

Step 4: Click OK to close the Drop-Down List Properties dialog box.

Now, you can select multiple items from the drop-down list.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when making a drop-down list with multiple selections in Word:

  • You can also select multiple items by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on the items.

  • You can clear all selected items by clicking on the drop-down list and then clicking Clear.

  • You can also clear a single selected item by clicking on it and then pressing the Delete key.

3. How to Insert a Drop-Down List in Word from Excel?

Integrate your Excel data seamlessly into Word documents with drop-down lists. We provide a detailed guide, complete with step-by-step instructions and visuals. Make your data more accessible and organized.

Here are the steps on how to insert a drop-down list in Word from Excel:

Step 1. Start by selecting the cell that contains the drop-down list in your Excel file. In this example, let's say the cell is B4.

Step 2. Press Ctrl+C on your keyboard to copy the selected cell with the drop-down list.

Step 3. Open the Word file where you want to paste the drop-down list.

Step 4. Navigate to the Home tab in Word.

Step 5. Choose the Paste option to paste the content you copied from Excel.

Step 6. Next, click on the drop-down arrow next to the Paste option and select "Paste Special."

Step 7. This action will open a prompt on your screen.

Step 8. In the prompt, first select the "Paste Link" option.

Step 9. Under the "As" section, choose "Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object."

Step 10. Click the OK button to proceed.

Step 11. Now, if you make changes to the drop-down list in the original Excel file, those changes will automatically reflect in the Word document where you pasted it.

By following these steps, you'll be able to seamlessly integrate a drop-down list from Excel into your Word document while maintaining a dynamic link between the two. Happy writing!

Now, the drop-down list will contain the list of items from the Excel spreadsheet.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when inserting a drop-down list from Excel in Word:

  • You can also use a range of cells in the Excel spreadsheet as the source for the drop-down list. To do this, select the range of cells and then copy and paste it into the Data Source dialog box.

  • You can also use a named range in the Excel spreadsheet as the source for the drop-down list. To do this, type the name of the named range in the Data Source dialog box.

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Algirdas Jasaitis


1. How do I create dependent drop-down lists in Word?

Creating Dependent Drop-Down Lists in Word: Quick Guide

Step 1: Prepare Your Data: Organize your data (e.g., countries and cities) in a table format in Word or Excel.

Step 2: Insert Combo Box: Open your Word document, go to the "Developer" tab, and click "Combo Box Content Control" where you want the first drop-down.

Step 3: Configure First List: Right-click the control, select "Properties," add country names and values, then close.

Step 4: Insert Second Combo Box: Click where you want the second drop-down, insert another Combo Box Content Control.

Step 5: Configure Second List: Right-click, select "Properties," add city names matching selected country, then close.

Step 6: Test Your Lists: Save and test – selecting a country should change the city options in the second drop-down.

Enhance document interactivity with dependent drop-down lists in Word!

2. How do I create a drop-down list in Word for Mac?

Creating a Drop-Down List in Word for Mac: Quick Steps

Step 1: Open Word: Launch Word on your Mac and open your document.

Step 2: Insert Control: Go to "Developer" tab, click "Dropdown List."

Step 3: Configure List: Right-click control, choose "Properties." Add options in "Display Name" column.

Step 4: Save and Test: Save and test by clicking the arrow to select.

Easily add drop-down lists to your Word document on Mac for user-friendly choices.


In today's digital landscape, interactive documents are crucial. We've provided a comprehensive guide on creating drop-down lists in Word. From single selections to multiple choices, our tutorials cover it all. Plus, don't forget to explore the powerful alternative, WPS Office, for a seamless and efficient document creation experience.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.