Validate Multiselect Dropdown List


I have a dropdown list where people enter several answers manually and there're around 2,000 different legitimate answers .

I have a different sheet that has all the correct answers.

Is there a way to validate that all answers are correct, and to get an error message if one is incorrect?




  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @B Diamond

    I hope you're well and safe!

    Can you maybe share some screenshots? (Delete/replace any confidential/sensitive information before sharing) That would make it easier to help.

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe, and have a fantastic week!


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  • In sheet1 I have a Codes cell, where people will type in their answers.

    In sheet2 I have a list of all available codes. The validate column should display an error message if one of the codes isn't listed in sheet2.  

    This is set up as a multiselect dropdown, but it could be changed so that each code is separated by a comma.

    Thanks much!

  • Victoria_Indimar
    Victoria_Indimar ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hello! Would a count of selected codes vs. list of all codes work for a validation? Or do you need an actual code comparison?

    To count the values in the multi-select field, you can do a COUNTM and compare to the count of valid code. If less, then there's an error, if equal, then it's good?

  • Hi @Victoria_Indimar,

    Thank you for your response.

    I would need an actual code comparison to make sure they were entered correctly.

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @B Diamond

    There currently isn't a formula that can parse out a multi-select cell to review each individual selection against a list. You could have all possible combinations listed in another sheet, then validate the cell against if that combination appears in your second sheet, however based on the length of your list this does not sound like a viable option for you.

    What I would suggest in this instance is instead of using a multi-select cell, have multiple single-select column options. Then we can use a formula to validate each individual column against your single option list.

    Another possibility would be to ensure that your multi-select column is restricted to the values you've added to the column only, so no one can select a Code that is incorrect. See: Maintain consistency in data collection with dropdown columns



  • Thanks for your input.


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