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Requiring Input in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you manage and analyze data in a variety of ways. One of the most important aspects of using Excel is requiring input from users. Whether you are creating a simple budget or a complex financial model, you need to be able to collect data from others in order to make informed decisions.

Creating Input Forms

One of the easiest ways to require input in Excel is to create input forms. An input form is a user-friendly way to collect data from others. You can create input forms using Excel’s built-in form controls, such as text boxes, drop-down lists, and check boxes.

To create an input form, start by selecting the cells where you want to collect data. Then, go to the Developer tab and click on the “Insert” button. From there, you can choose the type of form control you want to use. For example, if you want to collect a date, you can use a date picker control. If you want to collect a number, you can use a spin button control.

Validating Input

Another important aspect of requiring input in Excel is validating that input. You want to make sure that the data you collect is accurate and complete. Excel provides several tools for validating input, such as data validation and conditional formatting.

Data validation allows you to set rules for the data that can be entered into a cell. For example, you can require that a cell contain a number between 1 and 100. You can also create custom validation rules, such as requiring that a cell contain a specific text string.

Conditional formatting allows you to highlight cells that meet certain criteria. For example, you can highlight cells that contain errors or cells that are outside of a certain range. This can help you quickly identify data that needs to be corrected.

Protecting Input

Finally, it is important to protect the input you collect in Excel. You want to make sure that others cannot accidentally or intentionally change the data you have collected. Excel provides several tools for protecting input, such as password protection and worksheet protection.

Password protection allows you to require a password to open or modify a workbook. Worksheet protection allows you to prevent others from making changes to specific cells or ranges of cells. You can also use Excel’s track changes feature to keep track of any changes that are made to a workbook.


Requiring input in Excel is an essential part of using the program effectively. By creating input forms, validating input, and protecting input, you can ensure that the data you collect is accurate, complete, and secure. With these tools at your disposal, you can make informed decisions based on the data you collect in Excel.


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