Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Cell Mandatory In Excel


Ensuring that a cell is mandatory in Excel is crucial for data accuracy and consistency. When certain information must be entered before a spreadsheet can be finalized, it helps avoid errors and incomplete records. In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps to make a cell mandatory in Excel, so you can maintain the integrity of your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensuring that a cell is mandatory in Excel is crucial for data accuracy and consistency.
  • Data validation is an important tool for making cells mandatory in Excel.
  • The steps to make a cell mandatory include selecting the cell, navigating to the Data tab, choosing Data Validation, and setting the validation criteria.
  • Setting error alerts and testing the mandatory cell are essential for ensuring the validation works as expected.
  • Making cells mandatory in Excel helps ensure accurate and consistent data entry, reducing errors and mistakes in the worksheet.

Understanding Data Validation

Explanation of what data validation is in Excel:

Data validation in Excel is a feature that allows you to control what can be entered into a cell. It helps you to ensure that the data entered meets certain criteria, such as being within a certain range, being a certain type of data (e.g., text, number, date), or meeting specific conditions.

Importance of using data validation for making cells mandatory:

Data validation is essential for making cells mandatory because it helps to maintain data integrity and accuracy within a spreadsheet. By setting up data validation rules, you can prevent users from entering incorrect or incomplete data, which can lead to errors and inconsistencies in your data analysis.


  • By making a cell mandatory for entering only numerical data, you can ensure that no text or invalid characters are entered, which can skew your calculations.
  • By setting a validation rule to only allow dates within a specific range, you can avoid any date entries that fall outside of the necessary timeframe for your analysis.

Steps to Make a Cell Mandatory

Ensuring that a cell in Excel is mandatory can help maintain data integrity and accuracy. Follow these simple steps to make a cell mandatory:

A. Selecting the cell you want to make mandatory

Begin by clicking on the cell where you want to enforce mandatory data entry. This is the cell that you want to make required for data input.

B. Navigating to the Data tab in Excel

Once the cell is selected, navigate to the "Data" tab located on the Excel toolbar. This tab is where you can access various data handling tools and functions.

C. Choosing the Data Validation option

Within the "Data" tab, locate the "Data Tools" group and click on the "Data Validation" option. This will open a dialog box with various data validation settings and criteria.

D. Setting the validation criteria to make the cell mandatory

Within the Data Validation dialog box, go to the "Settings" tab. Under the "Allow" field, select "Custom" from the dropdown menu. In the formula bar, enter a validation formula that ensures the cell cannot be left blank or must meet specific criteria for data entry. For example, you can use a formula like =NOT(ISBLANK(A1)) to make cell A1 mandatory.


  • Select the cell for mandatory entry.
  • Navigate to the Data tab and click on Data Validation.
  • Choose the Custom option and set the validation criteria.

Setting Error Alerts

When working in Excel, you may want to make a cell mandatory to ensure that users input data in a certain cell. To do this, you can set up error alerts to notify users if they attempt to leave a mandatory cell blank. Below is a structured guide on how to set error alerts in Excel.

A. Selecting the style of error alert

To begin, select the cell where you want to set the error alert. Right-click on the cell and choose "Format Cells." In the Format Cells window, go to the "Error Alert" tab. Here, you can select the style of the error alert from the drop-down menu. The options include Stop, Warning, and Information.

B. Adding a title and error message to the alert

After selecting the style of the error alert, you can add a title and error message to provide further context to the user. In the same Format Cells window, you can enter a title in the "Title" field and an error message in the "Error message" field. The title will appear in bold at the top of the error alert, while the error message will provide specific instructions or information.

C. Specifying the behavior of the error alert

Lastly, you can specify the behavior of the error alert by checking or unchecking the "Show error alert after invalid data is entered" box. By default, this box is checked, meaning the error alert will appear when invalid data is entered. If you uncheck this box, the error alert will not appear, allowing users to input any data without being notified of an error.

Testing the Mandatory Cell

When working with Excel, it’s crucial to ensure that certain cells contain mandatory data in order to maintain accuracy and consistency in your spreadsheets. Setting up a mandatory cell requires adding data validation to that specific cell, which prompts an error alert if the cell is left blank or contains invalid data. Testing the mandatory cell involves inputting data, observing the error alert, and making necessary adjustments if needed.

Inputting data into the cell to test the validation

Once you have set up the data validation for the cell that you want to make mandatory, the next step is to input data into that cell to test the validation. Enter a value or try to leave the cell blank to see if the validation is working as intended.

Observing the error alert in action

After inputting the data, observe the error alert in action. If the validation is set up correctly, you should see an error message prompting you to input the required data or indicating that the entered data is invalid.

Making necessary adjustments if the validation does not work as expected

If the validation does not work as expected, you may need to make necessary adjustments to ensure that the cell is truly mandatory. Double-check the data validation criteria, error alert settings, and any other relevant configurations to troubleshoot and resolve any issues with the mandatory cell.

Benefits of Making Cells Mandatory

Making cells mandatory in Excel can provide numerous benefits for data entry and management. Ensuring accuracy and consistency in data entry is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the worksheet.

A. Ensuring accurate and consistent data entry
  • By making cells mandatory, you can enforce specific data entry requirements, such as format, range, or type of data, ensuring that all entries are consistent and accurate.
  • This can be particularly useful in fields such as date, time, or numerical data, where consistency is essential for analysis and calculations.

B. Reducing errors and mistakes in the Excel worksheet
  • By setting cells as mandatory, you can prevent accidental omissions or incorrect entries, reducing the likelihood of errors and mistakes in the worksheet.
  • This can help maintain the overall reliability of the data and prevent potential issues that may arise from inaccuracies.


Recap of the steps: To make a cell mandatory in Excel, follow these steps: Select the cell or range of cells where you want to apply the data validation, go to the Data tab, click on Data Validation, choose the settings for your validation criteria, and then select the 'Show error alert' option and set the style and error message.

Importance of data validation: Data validation is crucial for maintaining data integrity in Excel documents. By making a cell mandatory, you ensure that only the specified type of data can be entered, which helps in minimizing errors and inconsistencies in your data.

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