ComboBoxes allow users to select an option from a drop-down menu list. ComboBoxes can be created in VBA UserForms or with an Excel worksheet. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create and manipulate ComboBoxes in VBA and in Excel worksheets.
If you want to learn how to create a Listbox, click here: VBA Listbox
If you want to learn how to create a Checkbox, click here: VBA Checkbox
Create a ComboBox in Excel Worksheet
In order to insert a ComboBox in the Worksheet, you need to go to the Developer tab, click Insert and under ActiveX Controls choose Combo Box:
Image 1. Insert a ComboBox in the Worksheet
When you select the ComboBox which you inserted, you can click on Properties under the Developer tab:
Image 2. Change ComboBox Properties
Here you can set different properties of the ComboBox. To start, we changed the attribute Name to cmbComboBox. Now, we can use the ComboBox with this name in VBA code.
Populate a ComboBox in VBA code
First, we need to populate the ComboBox with values. In most cases, a ComboBox needs to be populated when the Workbook is opened. Because of this, we need to put a code for populating the ComboBox in object Workbook, procedure Open. This procedure is executed every time a user opens the Workbook. Here is the code:
When you click on the drop-down menu, you will get 5 names to choose from (John, Michael, Jennifer, Lilly and Robert):
Image 3. Populate the ComboBox in VBA
Populate a ComboBox from a Cells Range
Another possible way to populate a ComboBox is to let a user do it. A ComboBox can be linked to the cells range. In this approach, every time a user enters a new value in the cells range, the ComboBox will update with that value.
If you want to enable this, you have to go to the Properties of the ComboBox and set the attribute ListFillRange to the cells range (in our case E2:E5):
Image 4. Populate the ComboBox from the cells range
We linked our ComboBox with the range E2:E5, where we put names we want (Nathan, Harry, George, Roberta). As a result, the ComboBox is now populated with these names:
Image 5. Populated ComboBox from the cells range
Get a Selected Item of a ComboBox in VBA
The purpose of a ComboBox is to get a users choice. In order to retrieve a users choice, you need to use this code:
Dim strSelectedItem As Variant
strSelectedItem = Sheet1.cmbComboBox.Value
The users selection is in the attribute Value of Sheet1.cmbComboBox object. This value is assigned to the variable strSelectedItem:
Image 6. Get a selected value from the ComboBox in VBA
We selected Julia in the ComboBox and executed the procedure. As you can see in Image 5, the value of the strSelectedItem is Julia, which is the value we selected. Now you can process this variable further in the code.
Clear a ComboBox
If you want to clear a ComboBox in VBA, you need to use Clear method of Sheet1.lstComboBox object. It will delete all the items from the ComboBox. Here is the code:
When we execute the code, we get the empty ComboBox:
Image 7. Clear the ComboBox
Use a ComboBox in a Userform
As we mentioned, Combobox is most often used in Userforms. To explain how you can do it, we will first insert an Userform. In VBA editor, right-click on Module name, click on Insert and choose UserForm:
Image 8. Insert a Userform
To display controls for inserting, you need to enable the Toolbox. To do this, click on the Toolbox icon in the toolbar. After that, you will get the windows with all the controls available. You can click on ComboBox to create it in the Userform.
Image 9. Insert a ComboBox in the Userform
We will name the ComboBox cmbComboBox. In order to populate it with values, we need to put the following code into the method Initialize of the object UserForm:
Private Sub UserForm_Initialize()
This code triggers every time a user runs the Userform and populates the Combobox with these 5 names:
Image 10. The ComboBox with values in the Userform
If you want to get selected value from the ComboBox, you need to use the same logic for the Combobox in a Worksheet, which is explained earlier in the article.