Using a Data Form in Excel 2010

Last week a friend of mine was doing some data entry into a large spreadsheet that had a lot of columns to it. She found it a bit cumbersome to enter the data going across in the spreadsheet. Her question to me was: “Is there a way to enter data going down a list (in a dialog box) instead of entering data going across in the spreadsheet?”. The answer is “Yes!”.

By default, the icon for the Data Form doesn’t exist on the Ribbon and it doesn’t exist on the Quick Access toolbar. Therefore, the first part of the lesson shows how to add the feature to the Quick Access Toolbar, and the second part is how to use the Data Form feature in Excel 2010.

Snippet™ Training Lesson – Part 1

1. Open a file in Excel 2010.

The file should have a series of column headings.

Data Form in Excel 2010

2. From the File (tab), click Options.

3. In the category list on the left side of the screen, click on the Quick Access Toolbar category.

Data Form in Excel 2010

4. At the top of the first column where it reads “Choose Commands From” select the “Commands Not in the Ribbon” option from the drop down list.

5. In the list, scroll down and double-click on

Notice the Form command appears at the bottom of the list in the second column.

6. Click the OK button to close the dialog box.

Now you will see this Form command on your Quick Access Toolbar in the upper left hand side of your Excel window.

Data Form in Excel 2010

Snippet™  Training Lesson – Part 2

1. Click in a cell within your data and then click on the Data Form button on your Quick Access Toolbar.

Voila! You will see a Data Form like the one below.

Data Form in Excel 2010

2. You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to navigate within the form.

  • Tab – Move to the next field
  • Shift Tab – Move to the previous field
  • Enter – Move to the next record (row in the spreadsheet)

3. When finished click on the Close button.

Did you know you can learn more Snippet Mentoring time-saving tips twice a month by subscribing to our online newsletter? Just visit us at to register. Currently, we have a series of Excel Worksheet Management Snippet lessons. Happy reading!

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