How to Automate Data Entry in Excel (2 Effective Ways)

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If you have endless data, it may be nearly impossible to input every data manually. Automating data entry is crucial in such cases to save time by reducing manual effort. It further ensures accuracy and consistency in data formatting, ultimately improving productivity and data integrity.

In this Excel tutorial, you will learn how to automate data entry using Data Validation and Table.


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Here are the 2 ways to automate data entry in Excel:

Using Data Validation

The Data Validation feature allows you to set criteria and restrictions on the type and range of data entered into a cell.

The following dataset has 2 cell ranges. The lower range (B11:C14) contains the names of some fruits and corresponding prices. The upper range (B5:C8) is empty. Using the Data Validation feature, we’ll automate the data entry in range B5:C8.

Automate Data Entry in Excel Using Data Validation

To automate data entry using Data Validation, follow the steps:

Step 1: Name the Cell Ranges

  1. Select the range B11:B14 containing fruit names.
  2. Go to the Name Manager box beside the Formula tab.
  3. Type Fruits in the Name Manager field.Automate Data Entry in Excel Using Data Validation
  4. Select cell range B11:C14 containing fruit names and their corresponding prices.
  5. Type fruitprice in the Name Manager field.Automate Data Entry in Excel Using Data Validation

Step 2: Apply Data Validation

  1. Select the empty cell range B5:B8, where we will apply the Data Validation.Automate Data Entry in Excel Using Data Validation
  2. Go to the Data tab > Data Tools group > Data Validation drop-down > Data Validation.Automate Data Entry in Excel Using Data Validation
  3. The Data Validation dialog box will appear. In the box:
    • Go to the Settings tab.
    • Select List from the Allow drop-down menu.
    • In the Source field, type =Fruits.
    • Click OK.

You will get a drop-down icon, as shown in the following image. When clicked, it will let you choose data from the available options.

Step 3: Use VLOOKUP Formula

  1. After that, select cell range C5:C8 where the price will be inserted.
  2. Insert the formula: =VLOOKUP(B5,fruitprice,2,FALSE)
    This formula helps you find the price of a fruit listed in B5 by looking it up in the “fruitprice” table and returning the value from the second column. The “FALSE” at the end ensures an exact match, meaning it will only return results for fruits that have an identical match in the first column of the table.
  3. Press Ctrl + Enter to apply the formula to all the selected cells.vlookup function

Finally, select any fruit name from the drop-down list in cell B5. You will get the price automatically in the adjacent cell.

Read More: How to Automatically Insert Timestamp Data Entries in Excel


Using Excel Table

Data can be easily managed and analyzed in an Excel table. It typically has headers that allow easy sorting and filtering and support structured referencing.

The dataset we’ll use here is the same as the earlier one. The given cell range B5:C8 contains the names of some fruits and their prices. There is an additional row containing the Total price of all fruits.

Now, we will convert this data range into a table. If you add any new records to the table, the Total amount will be updated automatically.

Apply Excel Table to Automate Data Entry

To automate data entry using Excel table:

  1. Select the data range.
    Here, select range B4:C9.
  2. Go to the Insert tab > Tables group > Table.Apply Excel Table to Automate Data EntryThe Create Table dialog box will appear.
  3. Now, check the option My table has headers.
  4. Click OK.Apply Excel Table to Automate Data EntryThe data range will be in the table format.
  5. Add a new record to the table in row 6. The total price gets updated automatically.

Read More: How to Create a Data Log in Excel

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here.

Conclusion

This article demonstrates 2 effective ways to automate data entry in Excel. Use Data Validation to reduce manual effort, minimize errors, and maintain data consistency while inserting data. Apply the Excel table feature to automate results whenever you input new data. Leave a comment for further queries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is automated data entry in Excel?

Automated data entry in Excel refers to the process of using tools, macros, or scripts to streamline and reduce manual effort in entering data into Excel spreadsheets.

Why should I automate data entry in Excel?

Automating data entry in Excel saves time, reduces errors, and improves efficiency by eliminating manual data input. It also allows for the quick and accurate processing of large datasets.

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Mukesh Dipto
Mukesh Dipto

Mukesh Dipto is an excellent marine engineer who loves working with Excel and diving into VBA programming. For him, programming is like a superhero tool that saves time when dealing with data, files, and the internet. His skills go beyond the basics, including Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, AutoCAD, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WordPress. He got his B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, and now he's switched gears, working as a content developer. In this role, he... Read Full Bio

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