A Custom List in Excel is very handy to fill a range of cells with your own personal list.

It could be a list of your team members at work, countries, regions, phone numbers, or customers. The main goal of a custom list is to remove repetitive work and manual errors.

It is extremely useful when you need to fill in the same data from time to time. There are two options to create a list in Excel that can be used repeatedly by using the fill handle.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a list in Excel:

Let’s look at each of these methods one-by-one!

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Download this Excel Workbook and follow along with the tutorial on how to create a list in Excel :



Using Pre-existing List

At first, it might seem like magic how Excel does this!

There are some lists that are already stored in Excel like days of the week and months in a year.


To demonstrate the power of Excel’s Custom Lists, we’ll explore what’s currently in Excel’s memory as a default list:

STEP 1: Type February in the first cell

Custom List-1


STEP 2: From that first cell, click the lower right corner and drag it to the next 5 cells to the right

Custom List-02


STEP 3: Release and you will see it get auto-populated to July (The succeeding months after February)

Custom List-03


Create a list in Excel manually

You can also manually add new values in the Custom List box and re-use them whenever you wish to.

Let us go straight into the Options in Excel to view how it’s being done, and how you can create your own Custom List:

STEP 1: Select the File tab

Custom List-04


STEP 2: Click Options

Custom List-05


STEP 3: Select the Advanced option

Custom List-06


STEP 4: Scroll all the way down and under the General section, click Edit Custom Lists.

Custom List-07


Here you can see the built-in default Excel lists of the calendar months and the days.

If you click on a Custom List, you will see under List entries that it is greyed out and you cannot make any changes.  This indicated that it is a default Excel Custom List.

Default Custom List


STEP 5: You can create & add your own Custom List under the List entries section.

Click on NEW LIST under the Custom Lists area and then manually enter your list, entering one entry per line:

create new list

After typing the values, click Add.

In our screenshot below, we added the values of the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, and so on)

Click OK once done.

Custom List 08


STEP 6: Click OK again

Custom List 09


STEP 7: Now let’s go back into our Excel workbook to see our new Custom List in action. Type alpha on a cell.

Custom List 10


STEP 8: From that cell, click the lower right corner and drag it to the next 5 cells to the right

Custom List 11


STEP 9: Release and you will see it get auto-populated to zeta, which is based on our Custom List created in Step 8

Custom List 12


Next up is a demonstration of how to make a list in Excel by importing data from another worksheet.


Import from another worksheet

You can easily import a custom list from another worksheet. Follow the steps below to get this done:

STEP 1: Go to the File Tab.


STEP 2: Select Options from the left panel.


STEP 3: In the Excel Options dialog box, select Advanced.


STEP 4: Under the General section, click on the Edit Custom List button.


STEP 5: In the Custom List dialog box, select the small arrow up button.


STEP 6: Select the range containing the custom list.


STEP 7: Click on Import.


STEP 8: Once the list will appear under list entries and click OK.


STEP 9: Click OK.

Now, your custom list is stored in Excel!

STEP 10: Type the first entry of the list “XS” in cell A8.


STEP 11: From that first cell, click the lower right corner and drag it to the next 6 cells to the right.


The entire list will be displayed in the selected range!


You can even create this list vertically. Simply, type the XS in a cell. Click on the lower right corner and drag the cell downwards.

The list will appear vertically!



In this article, you have learned how to make a list in Excel so that you don’t have to type the same list over and over again. You use the Custom list feature in Excel and store it in Excel and use it whenever necessary.

You can either use the pre-existing list, manually type the list or link it from another worksheet!



Make sure to download our FREE PDF on the 333 Excel keyboard Shortcuts here:

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