searchable dropdown


I've been working on a searchable dropdown but ran into some issues.  I have two sheets, a summary sheet and account list sheet.  I need to pull an address from the account list.  So I used the following to pull the street, city, state and zip (this formula is for the street)…. =VLOOKUP(B3,Accounts!A2:E1000,2). 

The method works, enter the exact company name in B3 and the address populates into the other cells.  But, misspell the company name and no results.  I tried a dropdown and can scroll thru the list but not the most efficient way to find an account address.  Or can enter the name but the name must be entered correctly or get an error. 

I want to search using a couple letters then the dropdown list shows only the accounts that start with the letters I entered.    I found some information but it just didn't work and it is beyond my pay grade.  The method does not use a combo box but an array.  I was able to get some of the formula to work but ran into an issue with the filter portion and could not proceed.   Here is the formula… =SORT(FILTER(A2:A1000,ISNUMBER(SEARCH(b3,A2:A1000)),"Not Found"). 

Maybe I am following the wrong path so any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,



A combo box ihas features especially designed for the purpose you describe. Do I understand correctly that you have nevertheless decided NOT to use a combo box?
Variatus (rep: 4392) Apr 10, '20 at 8:13 pm
Apart from the regrettable fact that Excel 2013 doesn't have the functions SORT() and FILTER(), =SORT(FILTER(A2:A1000,ISNUMBER(SEARCH(b3,A2:A1000)),"Not Found") presents a problem with loading the validation list. You enter something and the list is loaded. But then you add to your specs and the list needs to be loaded again - faster than you type. An Excel cell doesn't offer that kind of response. So you need a text box, a text box to load a validation drop-down that must be in a different cell. To get it all into one cell a combo box might be used. But if you use a combo box anyway, what's wrong with its native functionality that would entice you to build your own system? Its system moves a highlight/selection in an existing list. You want an ever shorter list from which to make a selection. Is that something, literally, worth waiting for - 5/100th of a second after every click while the list updates?
Variatus (rep: 4392) Apr 10, '20 at 8:30 pm
At first I only had a text box with the VLOOKUP referencing that cell box but it didn’t function like I wanted.  I decided to use the Dropdown since that was something I could setup plus I found an article which explain the searchable setup and it seemed easy but I wasn’t aware it didn’t work with 2013, so I wasted a lot of time.  The dropdown setup was something I understood and could do but I have no problem using a combo box.  I found several articles referencing a combo box but the instructions seemed to be difficult to follow.    But, I am willing to give a combo box a try.  Thank you,  
Why Me (rep: 4) Apr 11, '20 at 5:24 pm
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The code in the attached workbook is divided into two modules. The first part, here following, must go into a standard code module. That is a module that doesn't exist. You have to create it. The default name will be "Module1". I renamed it as "TeachExcel". The name is without significance for the functionality. Actually, while your own workbook and the attached are both open, you can drag the module from my VBA Project into yours in the VBE's Project Explorer window. Dragging won't move the module but create a copy.

Option Explicit

Enum Nws                                    ' worksheet navigation
    ' Variatus @TeachExcel 12 Apr 2020

    ' You can modify any of the enumerations below
    ' to match the facts on your worksheet
    NwsFirstDataRow = 2                     ' the program ignores rows above this row
    ' Columns: (1 = A, 2 = B etc)
    NwsName = 1                             ' Source for the drop-down list
End Enum

Function ActionRange(Ws As Worksheet) As Range
    ' Variatus @TeachExcel 12 Apr 2020

    With Ws
        Set ActionRange = .Range(.Cells(NwsFirstDataRow, NwsName), _
                                .Cells(.Rows.Count, NwsName).End(xlUp))
    End With
End Function

Function CbxList(Ws As Worksheet) As Variant
    ' Variatus @TeachExcel 12 Apr 2020

    ' DdList is a worksheet created, used and deleted by this program
    Const DdList As String = "DdList"

    Dim WsL As Worksheet                    ' temporary List
    Dim ListRng As Range
    Dim Tmp As Variant

    On Error Resume Next
    Set WsL = Worksheets(DdList)
    If Err Then
        Set WsL = Worksheets.Add
        WsL.Name = DdList
    End If

    On Error GoTo 0
    ' The last row in the range is the last used cell in the column.
    ActionRange(Ws).Copy Destination:=WsL.Cells(1, 1)

    With WsL
        Set ListRng = .Cells(1, 1).Resize(ActionRange(Ws).Rows.Count)
        With .Sort.SortFields
            .Add Key:=Cells(1, 1), _
                 SortOn:=xlSortOnValues, _
                 Order:=xlAscending, _
        End With
        With .Sort
            .SetRange ListRng
            .Header = xlNo
            .MatchCase = True
            .Orientation = xlTopToBottom
            .SortMethod = xlPinYin
        End With
        ' exclude any blanks that might be included
        CbxList = .Range(.Cells(1, 1), .Cells(.Rows.Count, NwsName).End(xlUp)).Value
    End With

    With Application
        .EnableEvents = False
        .DisplayAlerts = False
        .DisplayAlerts = True
        .EnableEvents = True
    End With
End Function

The second instalment of the code goes to the worksheet's code module on which you want the action. In the attached workbook that is the sheet I named "Accounts". In VBE's Project Explorer it's identified as Sheet1 (Accounts). This code can't be dragged. You must copy and paste. But before you do so, please review the two values enumerated in the above code, NwsFirstDataRow and NwsName. They should be set correctly at this time. And, incidentally, that is all the adjustment you will have to make.

Option Explicit

Dim Cbx As OLEObject

Private Sub Worksheet_Activate()
    ' Variatus @TeachExcel 12 Apr 2020

    ' the drop-down list will be refreshed
    ' whenever this sheet is activated.

    Const CbxName As String = "Dynamic_Cbx"

    Dim Cell As Range

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    ' delete existing Cbx
    For Each Cbx In ActiveSheet.OLEObjects
                                                Cbx.Name = CbxName
        If Cbx.Name = CbxName Then
            Exit For
        End If
    Next Cbx

    Set Cell = Cells(NwsFirstDataRow, NwsName)
    With Cell
        Set Cbx = ActiveSheet.OLEObjects.Add( _
                              ClassType:="Forms.ComboBox.1", _
                              Link:=False, DisplayAsIcon:=False, _
                              Left:=.Left, Top:=.Top - 1, _
                              Width:=.Offset(0, 1).Left - .Left + 15, _
                              Height:=Round(Cell.Font.Size * 1.8, 0))
    End With

    With Cbx
        .Name = CbxName
        .LinkedCell = ""
        .Visible = False
        With .Object
            .List = CbxList(ActiveSheet)
            .MatchEntry = fmMatchEntryFirstLetter
            .TextAlign = 1                      ' align left
            .SelectionMargin = False
            With .Font
                .Name = Cell.Font.Name
                .Size = Cell.Font.Size
                .Bold = False
            End With
        End With
    End With
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Range)
    ' Variatus @TeachExcel 12 Apr 2020

    Dim Rng As Range

    Set Rng = ActionRange(ActiveSheet)

    If Cbx Is Nothing Then Worksheet_Activate

    With Cbx
        If Application.Intersect(Target, Rng.Resize(Rng.Rows.Count + 1)) Is Nothing Or _
                                (Target.Cells.CountLarge > 1) Then
            .Visible = False
            .LinkedCell = ""
            .Top = Target.Top - 1
            .Visible = True
            .LinkedCell = Target.Address
        End If
    End With
End Sub

Now the code is fully enabled, and this is how it works:-
When you activate the Accounts sheet a combobox is created invisibly and loaded with the list taken from the column identified as NwsName. The implication of this method is that changes made to the account names will not be reflected in the drop-down list until you click on another sheet and come back. That triggers an automatic update.

Now, when you click on any cell in the NwsName column the combobox will be moved to the clicked cell, assume its value, and become visible. The blank cell immediately below the end of the column will also respond in this way but not the cells further down. If you enter a first character which is available in the list the first matching value will be displayed. You can use the up and down arrows to go to the next or previous name or you can open the drop-down with the already selected name pre-selected and continue your selection from there.

Once you click on another cell  the combobox will go somewhere else and leave the selected value behind in the cell it was covering before. If the next cell is within the NwsName column the combobox will assume that cell's value and you can modify it. If you click elsewhere on the sheet the combobox will become invisible.

I didn't think of adding new names until this moment. The combobox can be set to allow that and perhaps it is. If it isn't the current workaround is to enter the new name in the second row under the end of the NwsName column, activate another sheet, come back and find the name included in the drop-down. The Combobox has many properties. My code sets only a few of them. Others may take the defaults you set for other comboboxes in other projects on the same PC. So, don't be surprised if your combobox suddenly decides to behave differently. You can easily modify my code to set any property you can identify as relevant.

If you close and save the workbook with a cell in the NwsName column selected. The combobox will not be functioning when you reload the workbook until you click on another cell or activate another tab. This flaw is curable with a little extra coding. There may be other such flaws which I didn't think of yet but which will appear when you start using the feature.

The drop-down list is prepared by copying the NwsColumn to another sheet which is especially inserted for this purpose and later deleted. There the list is sorted. Duplicates aren't removed but could be. Blanks are removed. If the list is very long, like a couple of hundred items, there will be a delay while this is going on. In normal use the list will be prepared only when the sheet is loaded, or perhaps on first use in the morning. So the delay shouldn't be an issue. If it becomes bothersome, however, there are ways of speeding up the process, for instance, by keeping the extra sheet with a sorted list in it permanently.



Wow, thank you.  Even though this seems a little overwhelming I want to give it a try.  But first a question...
I understand a temporary sheet is created for the sort and find and you mentioned it is possible to keep this sheet in the main file vs recreating it every time which would speed up the process.   This file will be reopened many times per day and does not stay open so what is the code to do so? Thank you,
Why Me (rep: 4) Apr 13, '20 at 3:55 pm
There is no wear and tear. Therefore you don't care how often the macro runs. There are two steps to determine action. One: you find a noticable delay while activating the worksheet - different from what it used to be. Two: you decide that you don't like this delay - it bothers you, perhaps unreasonably so (you decide). This is a very low bar but chances are high that you will not notice at all. That test must be taken before a decision to take action. As to the extra sheet, a tab in Excel isn't much more than a page break in Word. It isn't a big deal. It's fast. And if it's not permanent, it doesn't require management or attention.
Variatus (rep: 4392) Apr 13, '20 at 8:04 pm
I downloaded and reviewed the file you created.  I ran into a couple issues that prohibited me from continuing to setup or use the approached outlined in this discussion.  I use a narrator program that speaks text or numbers.  I’m not sure why but using the file created my narrator either would not speak the text or was delayed.  Moving from one cell to the next my narrator would speak the previous cell text.  Then moving to a different cell I may hear nothing or different text than the current cell text.     When scrolling thru the contents of a combo box the narrator would sometimes speak the text correctly but on a different combo box it would not.  This is really strange but all I can assume the constant code running affects my narrator program in some way and it cannot keep up.  Unfortunately, I am unable to attempt any additional setup since I cannot see the cell text and must rely on my narrator to speak the correct text.     I am very sorry you spent so much time on my question just to find out the solution will not work for me.  I will continue to search for a method that works with my narrator program.     Thank you
Why Me (rep: 4) Apr 14, '20 at 10:23 am
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