Essential to Expert Skills progression

Excel tutorials

The only Excel books you will ever need

  • The only constantly updated Excel 365 titles more…
  • Thoroughly covers Power Pivot and Power Query more…
  • Covers business intelligence and OLAP features more…
  • Simple, easy, understandable, 2-page lessons more…
  • Available as both printed books and e-Books more…
  • Used by schools, colleges and universities  more…
  • Available for 365, 2019, 2016 and Mac versions more…

Why does Excel say “The value you entered is not valid”?

This is a question we’re asked surprisingly often. You’re editing a workbook, you enter a value into a cell, and Excel responds:

This value doesn’t match the data validation restrictions defined for this cell.

Older versions of Excel used to show a different message, so you might also see:

The value you entered is not valid. A user has restricted values that can be entered into this cell.

If you’re an expert user, you probably already know; this is happening because somebody has applied a Validation to the cell that only allows certain values to be entered.

Validations can apply all kinds of restrictions, including restricting the amount of text that can be entered, ranges of numbers, ranges of dates and even only allowing specific values.

Note that if someone has applied validation rules, they usually have a good reason for it, so removing them isn’t always the best thing to do, but if you think a validation rule has been applied in error you can remove it by following these steps:

  1. Select the cell or cells that you want to remove validation from.
  2. Click Data > Data Tools > Data Validation.
  3. Click the Clear All button.
  4. Click OK.

Of course, rather than removing the rules, you should ideally enter a value that complies with the rules, or modify the rules if they aren’t allowing you to input a correct value.

Session 3 of our Expert Skills course covers validation rules in great depth, and would be very worthwhile for anyone who often needs to work with validation rules.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on stumbleupon
Share on email

Recent Articles

Excel protected view warning

Excel protected view: Be careful – files from the Internet can contain viruses. Unless you need to edit it’s safer to stay in Protected View. This article explains what this error message means.

VLOOKUP inexact match illustration (chicken and egg).

VLOOKUP inexact match

VLOOKUP lesson with sample file that will teach you everything there is to know when creating a VLOOKUP inexact match Excel function.

VLOOKUP exact match

Simple VLOOKUP tutorial with sample file that will teach you everything there is to know when creating a VLOOKUP function with an exact match.

Clients

When you use The Smart Method you’re in good company Here are some of the companies that The Smart Method have helped empower with excellent

Microsoft Office update channels

Microsoft Office update channels are explained in this article. Beta, Current, Monthly Enterprise and Semi-annual enterprise are all covered.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 × two =