Excel Tutorial: How To Create A Custom List In Excel Mac


Custom lists in Excel are a powerful tool that can save a significant amount of time when working with repetitive data. By creating a custom list, you can quickly fill cells with the data you need, without the need to manually type or copy and paste. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of creating a custom list in Excel on Mac, allowing you to streamline your workflow and increase your productivity.

Key Takeaways

  • Custom lists in Excel can save time by quickly filling cells with repetitive data
  • Creating a custom list in Excel for Mac can streamline workflow and increase productivity
  • Importing custom lists from external sources can be advantageous
  • Custom lists in Excel for Mac can be effectively used for data entry and organization
  • Troubleshooting common issues with custom lists is important for seamless use

Understanding Custom Lists

A. Define what custom lists are in Excel

In Excel, custom lists are a feature that allows users to create their own lists of text, numbers, or dates, which can then be used for data entry or sorting purposes. These custom lists can be easily accessed and used throughout the Excel application.

B. Explain the benefits of using custom lists in data entry

  • Customization: Custom lists allow users to input data in a more streamlined and efficient manner, as they can create lists tailored to their specific needs and preferences.
  • Consistency: By using custom lists, users can ensure that their data entry is consistent and accurate, as they can easily select from predefined options.
  • Time-saving: Custom lists can save time by eliminating the need to retype the same information repeatedly, as users can simply select from their custom list options.
  • Organization: Custom lists help in organizing and managing data, as they provide a structured approach to data entry and sorting.

Creating a Custom List in Excel for Mac

Excel for Mac offers a convenient feature that allows you to create custom lists for quick data entry. Whether you frequently input the same set of values or need to customize the order of entries, custom lists can streamline your workflow. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of accessing and inputting a custom list in Excel for Mac.

A. Step-by-step guide on accessing the custom list feature in Excel for Mac
  • 1. Open Excel:

    Launch Excel and open a new or existing workbook.
  • 2. Access Preferences:

    Click on "Excel" in the top menu bar, then select "Preferences" from the drop-down menu.
  • 3. Customize Lists:

    In the Preferences window, click on "Custom Lists" under the "Authoring" section.
  • 4. Import or Create:

    Here, you can import an existing list from a range of cells or create a new custom list by manually inputting the values.

B. Instructions on how to input a custom list manually
  • 1. Open the Custom Lists Window:

    Follow steps 1-3 from the previous section to access the Custom Lists window in Excel Preferences.
  • 2. Manually Input Values:

    To create a new custom list, click on "NEW LIST" and start inputting the values in the order you want them to appear. Press "Return" or "Enter" after each entry to move to the next line.
  • 3. Save the Custom List:

    Once you have completed entering the values, click "Add" to save the custom list. You can also edit or delete the list as needed.

By following these simple steps, you can easily create and manage custom lists in Excel for Mac, saving time and enhancing your data entry process.

Importing a Custom List in Excel for Mac

Creating a custom list in Excel for Mac can save time and improve efficiency when working with repetitive data. Importing a custom list from an external source can further enhance this feature, allowing users to easily incorporate existing lists into their Excel spreadsheets.

Demonstrate how to import a custom list from an external source

  • Step 1: Open Excel for Mac and navigate to the "Excel" menu.
  • Step 2: Select "Preferences" from the dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: In the Preferences window, click on "Custom Lists" in the "Authoring" section.
  • Step 4: Click on the "Import" button and choose the file containing the custom list you want to import.
  • Step 5: Once the file is imported, the custom list will be available for use in Excel for Mac.

Highlight the advantages of importing custom lists

Importing custom lists offers several advantages for Excel users:

  • Time-saving: Importing a custom list eliminates the need to manually enter each item, saving time and effort.
  • Consistency: Using a pre-existing custom list ensures consistency in data entry and analysis, reducing errors and improving accuracy.
  • Reusability: Once imported, custom lists can be reused in multiple Excel spreadsheets, providing ongoing benefits for various projects and tasks.

Applying Custom Lists in Excel for Mac

Custom lists in Excel for Mac allow users to create and utilize their own lists for unique data entry and sorting purposes. By adding custom lists to Excel, users can streamline data entry and improve efficiency in their spreadsheet management. Here are some examples of how custom lists can be used in Excel for Mac:

Provide examples of how custom lists can be used in Excel for Mac

  • Sorting: Custom lists can be used to sort data in a specific order, such as months of the year, days of the week, or other custom sequences.
  • Data entry: Custom lists can be used to quickly enter repetitive data, such as product names, employee names, or project codes.
  • Auto-fill: Custom lists can be used to auto-fill data based on a predefined sequence, saving time and reducing errors in data entry.
  • Charting: Custom lists can be used to create custom charts or graphs based on specific data sequences, allowing for customized visual representations of the data.

Offer tips on effectively utilizing custom lists for efficiency

  • Create and manage custom lists: Use the "Custom Lists" feature in Excel for Mac to create and manage custom lists based on your specific data needs.
  • Use auto-fill: Take advantage of the auto-fill feature in Excel for Mac to quickly fill in data based on your custom lists, saving time and reducing manual entry errors.
  • Sort and filter: Utilize custom lists for sorting and filtering data in a specific order, allowing for easier analysis and organization of your spreadsheet data.
  • Custom charts and graphs: Use custom lists to create unique charts and graphs that reflect the specific data sequences you have defined, enhancing the visual representation of your data.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Custom Lists

When creating custom lists in Excel for Mac, users may encounter certain issues that can be a roadblock in their workflow. Here are some common problems and suggested solutions to help you overcome these challenges.

A. Address common problems users may encounter when creating custom lists

1. Custom list not being recognized:

When inputting a custom list, Excel may not recognize it and fail to apply the desired order to the data.

2. Error message when adding a custom list:

Users might encounter error messages when trying to add a custom list, which can be frustrating and hinder progress.

B. Suggest solutions and workarounds for these issues

1. Ensure correct input:

  • Double-check the input of the custom list to ensure that it is being entered correctly. Any small typo can lead to Excel not recognizing the custom list.
  • If the problem persists, try entering the custom list in a different format or structure to see if Excel responds to it.

2. Check for conflicting formats:

  • If an error message appears when adding a custom list, check for any conflicting formats or data types that might be causing the issue.
  • Try converting the data into a different format and then adding the custom list to see if the error message disappears.

In conclusion,

Custom lists in Excel for Mac can be a powerful tool for organizing and sorting data. By understanding the common issues that users may face and implementing the suggested solutions and workarounds, you can effectively troubleshoot and overcome these obstacles to create custom lists successfully.


In conclusion, we have learned how to create a custom list in Excel for Mac by using the 'Custom Lists' feature and entering the list values manually. We also explored how to use the custom list for sorting data in a specific order within a spreadsheet. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily create and utilize custom lists to improve your workflow and organization within Excel for Mac.

I encourage you to experiment with custom lists in your own Excel for Mac projects. Whether you are sorting data, creating drop-down menus, or filling cells with a specific order, custom lists can be a powerful tool to enhance your Excel experience. Don't be afraid to explore and customize your lists to fit your unique needs.

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